Young People Talk About the Economy

By Generation Opportunity, Special for US Daily Review.

Generation Opportunity President Paul T. Conway, former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine L. Chao, responds to the January 2012 jobs numbers report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“Young Americans, including young veterans who have honorably served their nation, are being told by President Obama and his administration to settle for a new economic status quo where the lack of jobs, high unemployment, a record high number of people dropping out of the labor force, and limited economic opportunity are considered normal. Instead of being allowed to pursue their dreams and careers through meaningful work, regular paychecks, and new skills gained on the job, the ongoing poor economy is forcing young adults to delay their plans, delay their lives, and scramble to simply make ends meet.

“Despite thirty-six consecutive monthly jobs reports with unemployment over eight percent and a new CBO forecast of higher unemployment in the year to come, the message from the Obama administration to young Americans is to expect more of the same – higher taxes, more regulations, and more federal interference targeted at private sector job creators. Young adults pay dearly for this administration’s disregard and diminishment of private employers. Their level of aloofness and lack of empathy for the daily concerns of young Americans is as astounding as it is unacceptable.”

January’s 8.3 percent overall jobless rate fails to reflect the significant and ongoing challenges faced by young Americans in the continually poor economy. Joblessness among Millennials ages 18-29 is already at historic levels since the end of World War II, and hidden behind January’s numbers is the fact that many Americans have either accepted short-term, seasonal work or simply given up looking for work and are, therefore, not factored into the unemployment rate.

Even worse, the long-term U.S. job growth picture remains grim based on an official report released this week by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). CBO’s January 31, 2012 report concluded “a large portion of the economic and human costs of the recession and slow recovery remains ahead.” CBO is also forecasting that the U.S. unemployment rate could reach 8.9 percent by the end of 2012, and could potentially increase to 9.2 percent in the year 2013. Finally, the report forecasts that the unemployment rate could remain as high as seven percent through the end of 2015, and that economic activity may remain “below the economy’s potential until 2018.”

Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and select highlighted results for all young Americans ages 18-29 appear below:

Dissatisfaction with Current Level of Employment and President Obama’s Handling of Unemployment:

  • 43% are not satisfied with their current level of employment.
  • Just 31% of 18 – 29 year olds approve of the President Obama’s handling of youth unemployment.

Delayed Dreams Resulting from a Poor Economy:

  • 77% of young people ages 18-29 either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors:
    • 44% delay buying a home;
    • 28% delay saving for retirement;
    • 27% delay paying off student loans or other debt;
    • 27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
    • 26% delay changing jobs/cities;
    • 23% delay starting a family;
    • 18% delay getting married.

Leaders In Washington, D.C. Fail to Reflect Interests of Young Americans:

  • 69% say the current leadership in Washington fails to reflect the interests of the younger generation.
  • Only 36% believe there is the right leadership in Washington.
  • 61% indicated that a candidate’s positions on issues and record in office will be more important than charisma and likeability when they cast their vote for President in 2012.

Government Spending and Economic Opportunity:

  • 76% of overall Millennials would favor a decrease over an increase in federal spending from its current level if given the chance to set America’s fiscal priorities.
  • 69% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals in order to balance the federal budget.
  • 59% of overall Millennials agree the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.
  • 53% of overall Millennials agree if taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire.


Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, to early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs, and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow. Generation Opportunity will continue to engage young Americans on issues that impact their lives and the nation as a whole and encourage them through both social media and grassroots organizing to become more civically engaged and make their voices heard.

Generation Opportunity operates on a strategy that combines advanced social media tactics with proven grassroots tactics to reach young Americans 18-29. The organization’s social media platforms – “Being American” on Facebook and “The Constitution” on Facebook – have amassed a total fan base of more than two million. Both pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal General Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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