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Young Americans (18-29) Have Been Left Adrift By Joblessness

Among overall young adults 18-29 and self-identified independents 18-29 who were polled, the majority believe government policies are impeding job growth and economic opportunity.

Generation Opportunity, the new, nonprofit, non-partisan organization educating, engaging and mobilizing young Americans 18-29 years old on the immediate and long-term economic challenges facing the nation, reacted to the July 2011 jobs numbers report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.


“The immediate reaction to this report should be empathy and compassion for the everyday people and families behind these numbers, and frustration toward Washington and the unending stream of policies that suppress job creation. The impact of the poor economy, in human terms, has been devastating. This is especially true for young Americans, whose lives have been interrupted and dreams put on hold due to the lack of economic opportunity. Young adults are confident in their own abilities, and those who are unemployed and underemployed expect Washington to step aside and make way for folks who truly have the expertise to create real jobs,” said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity and a former chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor.


Young Americans are being hit especially hard by an economy that is producing record-high joblessness for their age group. The unemployment rate among young Americans remains at a historically high level. This historic trend has continued for more than two years, and the current rate tops even the worst youth unemployment rate in recent memory, which was recorded in 1980.


Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error). The highlights of the results for all young Americans ages 18-29 and a subset of that data among Self-Identified Independents appear below. “Independents” includes or refers to “All Independent Groups” -- including self-identified “Independent,” “Independent Leaning Republican” and “Independent Leaning Democrat.”


The Human Cost of the Bad Economy: Millennials (18-29) Forced to Delay Major Life Decisions:

Government Policy, Taxes and the Creation of More Economic Opportunity:
“If you were given the chance to set America’s fiscal priorities, would you increase or decrease federal spending from its current level?”

“The economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.”

“If taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire.”

Generation Opportunity is a nonprofit, 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.