There is a youth jobs crisis that no one is talking about. Unemployment for Americans under 30 is 16.7%, double the national average.
We are the most highly educated generation in American history, but we face the highest unemployment since the Great Depression. What we need now is jobs, but all politicians can talk about is budget cuts.
Econ 101 says cutting necessary investments in the midst of a recession destroys jobs and threatens the health of the economy as a whole. We’re stuck in a catch-22: education is more important than ever, but jobs are harder than ever to find and education just keeps getting more expensive.
Politicians who say budget cuts are what’s best for our generation don’t speak for us. We think starting our career is more important than cutting deficits years in the future.
Unless the country changes course, we will become the first generation in the modern era to face worse economic prospects than our parents.
Our generation demands a plan to invest in the future that jump starts the economy. We want to know what congress plans to do to solve the youth employment crisis.
And youth unemployment in black communities is double what it is in the under-30 population generally. Jobs are needed for any young person who wants to work hard, whether highly-educated or not. What matters is attitude. There are many who are inclined to the trades rather than the professions. We also need more scientists and engineers and work for them to do here that will lead to new industries and new forms of work opportunity. And we probably need fewer financial ‘geniuses’ who nearly laid us low.
The Briefcase Brigade is a good idea. I hope it works, and I hope that it inspires others to take similar action in the near future. I’m sure that Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, maybe even Marco Rubio, wiuld be willing to meet with any group of young people who approach them respectfully, whether dressed in suits and ties and carrying briefcases, or in whatever attire is appropriate to the kind of work they seek.
[…] Ten thousand young people descended on Washington for the Power Shift conference this weekend to call for bold action from government leaders to address climate change and create a clean energy economy for all. Many of these young people had a more specific, and personal, message for Congress: “I need a job.” […]