(Paul T. Conway/Generation Opportunity) – 11.8% young Americans are now unemployed through no fault of their own, and more still are falling out of the workforce due to an historic lack of opportunity.
The U.S. Department of Labor just announced the September unemployment numbers. It is not good news. I wanted to share with you a breakdown of the numbers and what they mean. I think this is important information you, your family, and friends should know before the election on November 6.
The national unemployment number is 7.8%, down a bit from August. However, much of the gains were made in part-time jobs, while Americans have been unable to find full-time work. For the previous nine months, the nation’s labor force participation rate has remained below 64%, which is the most consecutive months that the participation rate has dropped that low in over 30 years, as millions of Americans have stopped looking for work.
For young Americans the reality is even worse.
The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds in September 2012 is 11.8%. To compound the problem, an additional 1.7 million young adults are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor, meaning they have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs. If these 1.7 million were added into the overall figure, the actual unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds would be 16.6%.
These numbers tell a devastating story – a story we cannot afford to ignore or hope away. The risk is far too high, as the promise of America is slipping past an entire generation. As fellow citizens, we have an obligation to act, to create opportunity, and to offer real hope and independence to young Americans.