Issues

America’s youth has lowest employment rate in 60 years

Rock the unemployment lines

Young Americans, who voted overwhelming for President Obama in 2008, have been among the hardest hit economically during the past three years, The Huffington Post reports:

Just 54 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 currently have jobs, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. That's the lowest employment rate for this age group since the government began keeping track in 1948. And it's a sharp drop from the 62 percent who had jobs in 2007 — suggesting the recession is crippling career prospects for a broad swath of young people who were still in high school or college when the downturn began.

"They had the misfortune to be born at a time that would dump them into this labor market as young people," said Heidi Shierholz, a labor market economist at the Economic Policy Institute. "If we stay on the track that we're on, this cohort is not going to outpace their parents."

The Pew study arrives just days after the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, which showed the national unemployment rate trending down for a fifth straight month — a change that many took as a sign that the economy is finally beginning to right itself. Yet joblessness is still high, and financial security remains out of reach for millions more people than just a few years ago.