The non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) unemployment rate for 18-29 year-olds is an astounding 11.5%. Additionally, the declining labor force participation rate 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, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due, in large part, to the lack of jobs. If the labor force participation were factored into the 18-29 youth unemployment calculation, the actual 18-29 unemployment rate would rise to 16.3% (NSA)! Young Americans are suffering through the highest levels of sustained unemployment since World War II.
Additionally, the overall national unemployment rate is a staggering 7.8%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But while both of these numbers are alarming, they do not come close to capturing the full impact of the weak labor market on Americans.
Many peoplehave settled for part-time work or have taken jobs below their skill level because of the scarcity of more desirable positions. Others have simply stopped seeking work or have retired early. Those who managed to keep their jobs or were lucky enough to find satisfactory employment have been less willing to negotiate for raises, additional benefits, or promotions due to their lack of confidence in the stability of the job market.
For October, the unemployment rate rose slightly, with millions of Americans still suffering from high levels of joblessness. Americans across the country are paying for President Obama’s misguided economic policies, forcing people to delay their dreams and stall their futures, through no fault of their own, as the unemployment rate is higher than it was four years ago.
These dismal job prospects especially affect younger Americans whoface stiff competition, even for internships and entry-level positions, from much more experienced workers seeking any available work. Even temporary summer jobs are increasingly harder to come by.
Behind the numbers, the personal costs and untold stories are where the real human impacts can be seen. According to arecent poll commissioned by Generation Opportunity with the polling companyinc./WomanTrend (July 27-31, 2012, +/-3.1% margin of error, 95% confidence level), 89% of young people ages 18-29 say the current state of the economy is impacting their day-to-day lives. For example, 43% of 18-29 year olds have reduced their grocery/food budgets and 26% changed their living situation. In addition, 84% of 18-29 year olds had planned to but now might delay or not make at all a major life change, like 38% not buying their own place, 31% not starting a family, and 26% not paying off student loans or other debt, just to name a few of the findings.
Needless to say, addressing unemployment is of critical importance. New federal regulations and the Patient Protection andAffordable Care Act (or, more aptly put, “Obamacare”) have increased uncertainty among businesses. The soaring federal deficit has increased thetalk of possible tax hikes, hampering business conditions even further. However, through a comprehensive approach of cutting spending, reducing regulations, and lowering taxes, we can begin to see the American economy improve and more Americans working again.
KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK – JOBS AND UNEMPLOYMENT POLICY:
Here are some fundamental questions about jobs and unemployment to keep in mind as you read news articles, blogs, and Facebook posts, listen to speeches, or watch a commentator on television. These are also important questions to ask at an event or to pose to elected officials as they zero in on the core of an issue and whether or not what is being talked about or proposed will result in more economic opportunity and individual freedom for Americans.
Does what is being talked about or proposed:
- Help businesses create jobs, or does it hinder job creation or penalize those with the resources and means to create jobs?
- Allow businesses to use more of their earnings for hiring, expansion, and innovation rather than for paying taxes and complying with new regulations?
- Increase the likelihood that young Americans will find opportunities to apply their education and skills and succeed?
- Make it easier for people to pursue more lucrative opportunities by changing cities or jobs rather than settling for less satisfying jobs that are inconsistent with their career path?
- Prioritize businesses’ growth and investment as sustainable paths toward job creation rather than government spending?
RELATED POSTS ON FACEBOOK AT “BEING AMERICAN” – JOBS AND UNEMPLOYMENT POLICY:
Our “Being American” Facebook page has over a million fans! Take a minute to check out what we have posted on unemployment and jobs and read what fans from around the country—and even the world—think about the issue. If you would like to join the conversation but have not done so yet, do so now by becoming a fan of “Being American.”
Nearly 60% of Americans doubt that the next generation will live better than their parents, according to a recent Gallup poll. This while 12.7% of young Americans aged 18-29 are currently unemployed. Additionally, Generation Opportunity noted, if the 1.7 million young Americans who have given up looking for a job in the poor economy are included, the unemployment rate for young Americans would be 16.7%. LIKE this if you are concerned that America’s young people may not be able to live as full of a life as their parents due to the current lack of job opportunities. (August 6, 2012)
Not only did the unemployment rate rise in July, but the labor force participation rate fell to 63.7%, just above the lowest mark in 30 years, as 150,000 Americans impacted by the lack of economic opportunity are no longer looking for a job. Since June 2009, when the participation rate was 65.7%, about 7.5 million Americans have dropped out of the work force. In the economic recovery from the 1981-82 recession, the labor force increased by 5.2 million. LIKE this if you are concerned about the tremendous lack of economic opportunities and jobs. (August 4, 2012)
ACT NOW!! Unemployment is up again! Call the White House at (202) 456-1414 and tell President Obama to get out of the way of job creation. Unemployment has been at 8% or higher for 42 straight months as millions of Americans, particularly young Americans, are paying the price for failed policies coming out of Washington leading to fewer job opportunities, delayed dreams, and stalled careers. Tell President Obama, “We didn’t build this!” as young Americans are demanding real policy changes, not more rhetoric. (August 3, 2012)
Considerably more Americans believe creating jobs is more important than increasing taxes, according to a new Gallup poll. “Creating good jobs, reducing corruption in the federal government, and reducing the federal budget deficit score highest when Americans rate 12 issues as priorities for the next president to address. Americans assign much less importance to increasing taxes on wealthy Americans and dealing with environmental concerns,” reads the report. LIKE this if you think President Obama needs to focus more on jobs and less on raising taxes. (August 1, 2012)
Amidst a stagnant economy and millions of unemployed Americans, President Obama said “we tried our [economic] plan — and it worked,” and cited the bailouts of the auto industry. However, based on an audit of the bailout plan, the New York Times reported that “tens of thousands of jobs were lost as a result” of the bailouts. Do you think that President Obama’s economic plan worked? LIKE this if you think that President Obama’s policies are not working as millions of Americans suffer from a lack of job opportunities. (July 25, 2012)
LINKS TO THINK TANK PAPERS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS – JOBS AND UNEMPLOYMENT POLICY:
Below are several links from a variety of perspectives on unemployment and jobs gathered from think tanks and/or government sources. While not exhaustive, they provide even more detail on this issue and the different perspectives in the debate about the next steps in addressing jobs and unemployment for the future.
The Economic Importance of Venture Capital-Backed Companies to the U.S. Economy
In 2008, venture capital-backed companies created more than 12 million jobs and made roughly $3 trillion in revenue, or the equivalent of 21% of U.S. GDP. Venture capital-backed companies outperformed the overall economy in terms of creating jobs and growing revenue. (National Venture Capital Association, September 2011) Read the entire article here.
Regional and State Unemployment, June 2011
Provides the most recent unemployment statistics for the nation, all 50 states, and the District of Columbia. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 2011) Read the entire article here.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: Where Do Jobs Come From?
Argues that reducing taxes and regulations will lead to stronger job growth and that government spending hampers private-sector job creation. (Mercatus, January 2011) Read the entire article here.
Focus on the Jobs
Points out that aggressive stimulus measures have not had the desired impact on the economy. (E21, July 2011) Read the entire article here.
Starting Smaller, Staying Smaller: America’s Slow Leak in Job Creation
Argues that the problem with job creation is part of a longer trend of startup companies that are growing more slowly and creating less employment. (Kauffman Foundation, July 2011) Read the entire article here.