Labor Day and Young Americans
Labor Day and Young Americans
Statement by Paul T. Conway, President of Generation Opportunity
Washington, DC – (9/3/12) – Generation Opportunity President Paul T. Conway, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor, has issued the following statement:
“Labor Day is a day set aside specifically to honor the achievements of the American worker. But on this Labor Day, as Americans traditionally celebrate with family and friends, the sad reality is that millions of young Americans will not return to a full-time job tomorrow.
“Through no fault of their own, over twelve percent of young Americans are unemployed and have been denied the opportunity to contribute their talents and to achieve success.
“Due to failed leadership and failed policies over the last three and a half years, their lives and dreams have been delayed. It is no surprise that young adults, union and non-union alike, have little enthusiasm for leaders who defend the status quo while offering no ideas for more economic opportunity.
“Young Americans deserve more from their leaders and want solutions that place a higher value on the growth of businesses and opportunity as opposed to government.”
For Generation Opportunity, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend conducted a nationwide online survey of 1,003 American adults ages 18-29 between July 27 and July 31, 2012. This study has a ±3.1% margin of error at a 95% confidence interval, and sampling quotas were used to ensure the survey was representative of the larger 18-29 year old nationwide population with regard to race, region, and gender.
76% of Millennials plan to vote in the election for President this year.
Only 38% believe that today’s political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.
89% of young people ages 18-29 say the current state of the economy is impacting their day-to-day lives (accepted multiples responses) (randomized):
51% reduced their entertainment budget;
43% reduced their grocery/food budget;
43% cut back on gifts for friends and family;
40% skipped a vacation;
38% drive less;
36% take active steps to reduce home energy costs;
32% tried to find an additional job;
27% sold personal items or property (cars, electronic appliances, or other possessions);
26% changed their living situation (moved in with family, taken extra roommates, downgraded apartment or home);
17% skipped a wedding, family reunion, or other significant social event;
8% none of the above (accepted only this response);
3% do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).
84% of young people ages 18-29 had planned to but now might delay or not make at all a major life change or move forward on a major purchase due to the current state of the economy (accepted multiples responses) (randomized):
38% – Buy their own place;
32% – Go back to school/getting more education or training;
31% – Start a family;
27% – Change jobs/cities;
26% – Pay off student loans or other debt;
25% – Save for retirement;
23% – Get married;
12% – None of the above (accepted only this response);
4% – Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).
76% believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class.
64% of young people ages 18-29 believe the availability of more quality, full-time jobs upon graduation is more important than lower student loan interest rates.
Last month, Generation Opportunity released the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) unemployment data for Millennials for July 2012:
The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds specifically for July 2012 is 12.7 percent (NSA).
The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans for July 2012 is 22.3 percent (NSA); the youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics for July 2012 is 14.0 percent (NSA); and the youth unemployment rate for 18–29 year old women for July 2012 is 12.6 percent (NSA).
The declining labor participation rate has created an additional 1.715 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 to the lack of jobs.
If the labor force participation rate were factored into the 18-29 youth unemployment calculation, the actual 18-29-unemployment rate would rise to 16.7 percent (NSA).
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