The Persistent Jobs Crisis Among Young Americans


A Lasting Problem

In the new Demos report, Stuck: Young America’s Persistent Jobs Crisis, authors Tamara Draut and Catherine Ruetschlin look at a year of stagnating job prospects and declining economic security for Americans under 35. Some of their findings:

– Young adults gained little ground in 2012. Altogether, there are more than 5.6 million 18 to 34-year-olds,45 percent of all unemployed Americans, who are willing and able to take a job, but have been shut out of opportunities for employment.

– Adult Hispanic workers experience unemployment rates 25 percent higher than those of whites, while African Americans face rates approximately double.

– The greatest differences were attributed to education: the unemployment rate for 18 to 24 year olds with a Bachelor’s degree was 7.7% compared to 19.7% for those with a high school diploma.

– In 2012, the labor force participation rate of 18 to 24 year olds declined to its lowest point in more than four decades. Workers with a four-year degree are 9 to 12 percentage points more likely to be in the labor market than workers with a high school diploma in every age group.

Read the Full Report, Stuck: Young America’s Persistent Jobs Crisis

While much attention has been paid to the challenges facing indebted college graduates who are now much more likely to be working in jobs that don’t require a college degree, the deep and persistent high levels of joblessness and underemployment among young people without four-year degrees (the majority of the generation) is a silent crisis facing our nation. And it demands a robust and national response.

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