The youth unemployment rate is nearly double that of any other group in America. While you might think the young whipper-snappers can hold out a little while longer flipping burgers with their college degree framed over where they sleep in their parents’ basement, you’re wrong. If the youth unemployment rate isn’t solved meaningfully and soon, it could spell economic ruin for all of us.
A new report from the Center for American Progress outlines a grim future for our economy if the grim present of our nation’s youth doesn’t change soon. The youth unemployment rate is 16.2 percent which, as we said, is double the number of any other group.
May’s jobs report sounded like the last handful: The private sector reports job growth and xyz-thousands of jobs created, but they’re not awesome jobs. People were saying this well before the election. Four million new jobs in the food service industry isn’t economic recovery, it’s… what was the political phrase? “Kicking the can down the road.”
The effects of the high youth unemployment rate are pretty apparent. For one, there’s skyrocketing student debt at a time where education is more expensive than ever and recent grads find themselves defaulting in greater numbers.
There’s also the “failure to launch” recent grads who leave for college only to return home and work the same jobs they had before they ventured into higher education. If they’re not earning, quite frankly, they’re not spending (and they’re probably not contributing much by way of taxes).
Michaela Gianotti summarized it best:
“If the young people aren’t earning money, they aren’t spending money like good little consumers. Nor are they starting businesses like good little entrepreneurs. Nor are they giving the tax gods great offerings like good little taxpayers. So yeah, you might want to start caring about all those unemployed youth — there’s already an estimated 10.6 million of them.”
No more trojan horse economic solutions. It’s time to start caring, and youth unemployment is as good as any a place to start.
[Image via: Peter Bernik / Shutterstock]