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Youth unemployment stuck above 12 percent for third straight month

According to analysis by Generation Opportunity, youth unemployment hit a non-seasonally adjusted 12.7 percent for July, down one-tenth of a point from June’s figure of 12.8 percent, and above May’s 12.1 percent figure, while the overall number stood at 8.3 percent for July.

That number increases to 16.7 percent when total workforce participation among those ages 18-29, including those not actively seeking work, is taken into account, according to Generation Opportunity President Paul Conway, a former Bush Labor Department official.

“If you look at the number of workers – 1.7 million  which the Labor Department says technically are no longer looking for work – and add them up and put them in the unemployment number [for those] between 18 and 29, you have a seasonally adjusted rate of 16.7 percent,” Conway said. “That’s a stunning number as you can tell from today, which is nearly double what the national rate is.”

Millennials are becoming a “lost generation” whose future is on the line because the economy has forced as many as 77 percent of those 18-29 to put off major life decisions, Conway said.

This number includes some 44 percent who say they plan to put off buying a home; 28 percent who say they plan to delay saving for retirement; 27 percent who are putting off paying student loans; and 23 percent who say they plan to put off starting a family, among other decisions, according to a poll commissioned by Generation Opportunity.

“My generation continues to suffer under the Obama economy. We are facing record high unemployment and even higher underemployment and see no sign of that changing anytime soon if we keep President Obama in the White House,” College Republican National Committee Chairman Alex Schriver said in a statement. “President Obama has had four years to turn this economy around and get Americans back to work but instead we consistently see abysmal jobs reports month after month. It’s time for real change in the White House”

Dissatisfaction with where the country is headed and with Obama’s performance as president cuts across party lines as is revealed by a July 22, 2012 Daily Kos/SEIU poll. A full 75 percent of those surveyed said they thought that the country is on the wrong track and some 57 percent reported disapproving of the president’s job performance.

“They are frustrated with the lack of economic opportunity,” Conway said. “Then you have those in Washington who are cold and lacking in sympathy to those in their condition, and they are very, very frustrated by it.”

Giving business owners greater security is the way to get younger workers back to work because employers are not hiring because of the “economic uncertainty” of looming taxes and regulations such as those in Obamacare, according to Conway.


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