Today, youth unemployment, the unemployment rate for 18 – 29 year olds, sits at a shocking 12.7%! This is significantly higher than the historically high overall unemployment rate of 8.1% for the month of August, which marks the 43rd consecutive month of unemployment above 8 percent. Additionally, the reason for the modest drop in the overall rate from July was that thousands of Americans dropped out of the labor force altogether, due to the lack of job opportunities, and are no longer counted … meaning we are going backwards, not forward!
A deeper dive into the 12.7% youth unemployment rate tells an even more troubling story:
- The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans is 22.4 percent (NSA).
- The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics is 13.7 percent (NSA).
- The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old women is 12.6 percent (NSA).
Additionally, more young Americans have given up looking for work as the declining labor force participation has created an additional 1.7 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force. If these 1.7 million young Americans were factored into the 18-29 youth unemployment calculation, the actual 18-29-unemployment rate would rise to 16.7%!
These numbers are a solemn reminder of the millions of Americans facing each day with a growing sense of desperation and lost hope – living through circumstances they did not create, yet are forced to endure. Young Americans are left holding the bag, feeling the sharp impact of this president’s failed policies in both their daily lives and the loss of their ability to plan for the future.
It is no surprise that 89% of young Americans say the poor economy negatively impacts their daily life and 84% say it jeopardizes their plans for the future. (The polling company Inc./WomanTrend, July 27 – July 31, 2012, ±3.1% margin of error)
Despite this, young Americans stand ready and willing to serve. They are uniquely qualified to lead this nation and, indeed, the world in this century. However, the stubborn economic policies of this administration offer nothing but empty promises, lost hope, and ongoing high unemployment. There is nothing fair about denying opportunities to an entire generation of Americans, and young Americans are determined to make their voices heard in November to demand real change and expanded opportunities.
Paul T. Conway, President, and the full team at Generation Opportunity