As reported on Friday, the BLS released its monthly jobs report and the statistics left many with a lukewarm feeling on the slow improvements that are being made. The unemployment rate remained the same at 8.3 percent and the length of the average employees work week is still low at 34.5 hours. Though we added over 200,000 jobs to the market, we need to create more than that to satisfy the citizens that are out of work. However, when viewed from a young adult’s eyes, the job market is still weak, cruel and unmoving.
When you see that the unemployment rate for teenagers is at 23.8 percent, then the overall unemployment rate of 8.3 percent doesn’t seem so bad. Generation Opportunity President Paul T. Conway, former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor was quoted in market Watch saying, “While young Americans are being denied opportunities today, they are being saddled with record levels of debt to pay off tomorrow. It is unconscionable. The reality is that policy decisions coming out of this administration have consequences, and Americans are feeling the impact firsthand, every day.” In fact, the results of a survey conducted by Generation Opportunity shows just how American teenagers feel and how they are dealing with the consequences of a weak job market and weak administrative decisions.
The survey took answers from American citizens aged 18 to 29. According to the results, 43 percent of them are unhappy or unsatisfied with their current employment level. That is easy to understand seeing as though many workers at this age are stuck in entry-level jobs or are afraid to leave their current job, however unhappy they may be, for fear that they won’t be able to find another one. Plus, the competition level for jobs held by these workers is extremely high seeing as though this is the age group that is currently seeing the lowest employment numbers.
On top of this, 77 percent of workers in this age group have delayed a purchase or life-decision due to poor financial situations. Some of those examples include delay in buying a home (44 percent), delay in returning to school (27 percent), delay in changing jobs (26 percent) and delay in getting married (18 percent). If a weak job market was all these workers had an issue with, then it would be much easier to dismiss it and lump their dissatisfaction in with the rest of the workers in the job market. However, young adults believe that the government and the leaders in the nation’s capital are failing to understand the interests of young adults and their needs.
Specifically, 69 percent of young adults believe that current leaders in power fail to reflect their interests. Only 36 percent of them think that the right people are leading the nation. In light of these statistics, what young adults deem important for the election year reflect the concerns they have for their employment and opportunities in the job market. 62 percent of young adults believe that national debt is the largest threat to our national security along with energy dependency (61 percent). How presidential candidates view and address these issues will have a lot to do with who young adults choose to vote for. With the presidential election right around the corner, candidates will likely want to openly address their views on these concerns in order to win the young adult’s vote.