Down and Out in Obama’s America

Millennial Americans hit hardest by job slump, unemployment data show

November 5, 2012

The jobs report for the month of October released on Friday reveals a bleak outlook and lack of opportunity for younger workers in the Obama economy.

As CNN Money blog reported, the liberal Center for American Progress hailed the employment numbers while businessmen emphasized their inadequacy.

"The broader economy is still just limping along," Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, told CNN. "We don’t really see any major pickup in job growth."

Generation Opportunity, a nonpartisan youth polling organization, reinforced Dunkelberg’s statement in its own report on the jobs numbers.

Generation Opportunity highlighted the figures for youth (18 to 29) unemployment, which stands at 12 percent.

Certain demographics are suffering even more. Youth unemployment for African Americans rose to 21.4 percent in October. Hispanic youth unemployment rose to 13.4 percent.

"The fact that unemployment numbers for young Americans have increased since the month of September" tells young people that "the economy under President Obama is not improving at a rate that will make a difference in restoring their stalled careers and damaged dreams," Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, told the Washington Free Beacon.

"Across the country and in states like Ohio, where 63 percent of young adult independents say that policies coming from Washington are hurting them, Millennials will see today’s news as all the more reason to vote for change on Tuesday."

"The president and his policies are responsible for the largest drop in support among young voters for any sitting president in recent history," Conway concluded.

Conway rejected the idea that Millennials are simply too lazy to find work.

"The fault rests not with the individual but rather with the president and his team, because absent his failed economic policies, this generation would already have contributed with their skills and education to the restoration of the American economy," Conway said.

Rep. Allen West (R., Fla.) agreed that the economy had not sufficiently improved.

"We need a private sector jobs market that is creating 250,000 to 300,000 jobs per month to get us moving back to a national full-time unemployment rate of five percent," West told the Free Beacon.

"Let us not forget the projection from the almost $1 trillion stimulus package— one of President Barack Obama’s deemed legislative successes—stated unemployment would be at 5.4 percent."

West added, "High minimum wages advocated by labor unions from whom Democrats receive tremendous financial support mean employers are less apt to hire unskilled black youths, or any youths for that matter."

Burton Folsom, economic history professor at Hillsdale College and author ofThe Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America, agreed.

"Minimum wage laws tend to prevent hiring of low skilled youths, many of whom are African-American, because low skilled youths often don’t add value to the company great enough to cover the mandated wage," he said.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney maintains an edge on economic issues even in polls in which he trails President Obama.

West remarked, "Food stamp recipients have increased 46 percent since Obama took office and the number of Americans in poverty has increased to 49 million."