Postpartum Depression and the Economic Growth of Young Texas Families

Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth and can affect families in a range of ways, including in terms of health, family stability, and economic security. Nearly 15% of women in the United States will experience postpartum depression (PPD) symptoms,ii but that rate rises to 17% for Texas women.

The condition can occur up to a year after delivery but is also frequently observable during pregnancy—which is why the condition is sometimes referred to as perinatal or maternal depression—and can include anxiety, difficulty performing daily tasks, sleeplessness, acute feelings of guilt, and major depressive episodes.

Texas lawmakers have taken positive steps to increase access to supports for those coping with PPD, but given the pressing need, further improvements remain critical. To read more about addressing postpartum depression in Texas, please read the full brief: Postpartum Depression and the Economic Growth of Young Texas Families.

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January 2017 Monthly Jobs Analysis

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The young adult unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.5 percent, in January (seasonally adjusted), up from 6.3 percent in December. About 51,000 new young adults entered the workforce, which can cause the unemployment rate to increase. The number of unemployed also increased and by a larger margin than new young adults in the workforce. The young adult unemployment rate continues to persist at higher rates that the national unemployment rate, which also increased slightly  from 4.7 percent up to 4.8 percent.

The unemployment rate grew for young Latinos, African Americans, and Asian or Pacific Islanders over the month (though these are not seasonally adjusted). Notably, the rate for Asian or Pacific Islander young adults doubled, from 2.7 percent to 5.5 percent.

The workforce has largely recovered  since the Great Recession, as reflected by stronger employment rates, but new research published by Young Invincibles last month demonstrated longer-term structural problems for today’s young adults. Millennials today earn lower incomes, own houses at lower rates, and have amassed fewer assets and wealth than Boomers had when they were the same age in 1989.,This highlights that increased employment is just one piece of the puzzle needed to get this generation of young people back on track.

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Young Invincibles Delivers Testimony at New York State Workforce Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 25, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org202-734-6510

[Albany, New York] — Today, Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles, will deliver testimony at the New York State Legislative Workforce Budget Hearing. Please find his full testimony here. It underscores the critical need for training and skills development among New York’s disadvantaged young adult population. Young adults in New York age 16-24 face a stubbornly high unemployment rate of 15 percent. In particular, Kevin’s testimony focuses on the need to repurpose the Urban Youth Jobs Program–a flawed tax credit that does nothing to train up young adults and offer ways the state can better use that money.

Young Invincibles recently released a report examining the Urban Youth Jobs Program, state’s single largest youth jobs investment, demonstrating that the program does not meaningfully impact employer behavior. It also recommends how to reallocate funding to a number of other state programs, including apprenticeships. Please find the full report here: Sounding the Alarm: New York’s Young Adult Unemployment Crisis & The Need for State-Based Reforms.

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Young Invincibles Delivers Testimony at New York State Legislative Higher Education Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 24, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org202-734-6510

[Albany, New York] — Today, Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles, delivered testimony at the New York State Legislative Higher Education Hearing. Please find his full testimony here. It highlights the need for policies that reach young people in New York with the least access and means for making it through the state’s higher education system. He discusses how current proposals in the FY-2018 plan, particularly the Excelsior Scholarship, show strong committment to higher education but currently exclude and penalize part-time, working, low-income students. Moreover, the Governor has not included any Maintenance of Effort funding to ensure institutions can maintain high quality education without being crushed by costs increases (like inflation or energy).

He also discusses shortfalls of New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and urges the legislature to increase maximum TAP. The current FY-2018 budget proposes five more years of annual $250 tuition hikes and does not increase  TAP awards. It also force New York’s public universities to pay for the unfunded tuition credit mandate, which has cost CUNY more than $180 million since 2012.

In New York, student loan debt more than doubled during the last decade, growing to $82 billion from $39 billion, an increase of 112 percent with an average debt holder owing $32,200, $2,000 more than the national average. We are pleased that legislators on both sides of the aisle have a lot of questions around full-time criteria, part-time students, and contradictory tuition hikes.

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Young Invincibles’ Preliminary Response to Governor Cuomo’s FY-2018 Executive Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

[New York] — On Tuesday night, New York State Governor Cuomo released his FY-2018 Executive Budget. To read Young Invincibles’ full analysis of the budget, please click here. Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles, released the below statement in response:

  “Governor Cuomo just released the latest executive budget, which has the opportunity to direct much needed funding to programs that help young adult New Yorkers get the education and skills they so badly want and need to enter our state’s economy. With more than 15 percent of 16-to-24-year-olds unemployed and looking for work, this could translate to a potential loss of about $8.8 billion in earnings to New Yorkers over the course of the next decade–the stakes are too high to get it wrong.

The Governor is also proposing to double down on the state’s marquee youth employment program – the $50 million New York Youth Jobs small dollar tax credit for employers – despite evidence suggesting employers don’t find it effective and would rather see investments in training to skill up tomorrow’s workforce.

We are excited by the increased funding Governor Cuomo’s budget dedicates to supporting young adults, but see improvements that must be made to truly support this population in the longterm. The Governor’s plan to make college more affordable through the Excelsior Scholarship is laudable, but we have serious concerns with details of the current proposal that would exclude and penalize part-time, working, low-income students. Additionally the Governor’s budget proposes another five years of unaffordable annual $250 tuition hikes to SUNY and CUNY students who don’t qualify, and provides no “Maintenance of Effort” funding to ensure schools can keep up high quality programs.

We hope that these vital funding streams will continue to be bolstered but also be directed to those programs that provide quality opportunities for young people. With most jobs today requiring a post-secondary education, and with poverty and unemployment rates for young adults across the state remain high, it’s critical that the final budget deal invests in strategies we know work.”

To read Young Invincibles’ full analysis underscoring the unmet needs of young adult New Yorkers, especially SUNY and CUNY students and those entering the workforce, please click here: YI FY-2018 New York State Budget Analysis.

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Young Invincibles Voices Serious Concerns Over Secretary of Education Nominee Betsy DeVos

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 19, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

[WASHINGTON] — During Tuesday night’s confirmation hearing, Secretary of Education-Designate Betsy DeVos took questions from the members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on a host of issues related to education in America.

Young Invincibles’ Deputy Director, Rory O Sullivan, released the following statement in reaction to the hearing:

“Despite hours of rigorous questioning, Mrs. DeVos’ positions on a host of issues vital to today’s students and borrowers remain woefully unclear at best or outright harmful at worst. She failed to articulate clear stances on crucial questions like how to address the staggering increases in student debt, whether she would protect Pell grants and other forms of student aid, and how to assist millions of student loan borrowers struggling with a complex system and unmanageable monthly payments.  Beyond these critical policy concerns, when asked about combating “waste, fraud, and abuse” by predatory schools, Mrs. DeVos would not commit to enforcing existing rules like the gainful employment rule. Neither could she say clearly who would be in charge of any enforcement efforts should she be confirmed as Secretary.

In a time when over 40 million borrowers are grappling with 1.3 trillion dollars of growing student debt, a Secretary of Education without an agenda or even an opinion on issues that affect millions of students and borrowers is a major cause for concern. We are seriously apprehensive about the nomination of Secretary-Designate DeVos.”

 

 

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December Jobs Report: Young Adult Unemployment Lowest Since May 2007

The unemployment rate for young adults fell to 6.3 percent in December 2016,  its lowest point in nearly a decade. Last week’s report is the final jobs report of the Obama administration, which oversaw a volatile workforce that significantly impacted young adults. A few notable points:

  • Young adults suffered from 54 straight months of double-digit unemployment rates between January 2009, when President Obama first took office, to June 2013.
  • Young adult unemployment reached its height at 13.3 percent in April 2010.
  • Last month’s rate of 6.3 percent is the lowest the rate has been since May 2007.

This graph below tracks the unemployment rate among young adults and the workforce generally over the last decade. It also highlights the weak jobs market President Obama inherited from the Great Recession and the slow recovery through his administration. the Recession (yellow area) officially began in December 2007, over a year before Obama took office and continued for at least six months into his presidency. The green indicates an overlap of both the recession and the Obama administration (remember how yellow and blue make green?). Starting with the recovery in June 2009, the unemployment rate for young adults steadily declined to last month’s historic low.

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Taking a closer look at the most recent unemployment rates for December of last year, we see that despite overall gains, that young African Americans still suffer from the highest unemployment rates, double the rate overall, at ten percent. Young Latino adults also have higher rates at 7.3 percent. Young Asian or Pacific Islander adults had the lowest unemployment rates at 2.7 percent.

image01While the jobs market has generally recovered from the Great Recession in the short-term, last week Young Invincibles released new research analyzing long-term declines in financial security, which show that  today’s Millennials earn lower incomes, own homes at lower rates, and have amassed fewer assets and wealth than Baby Boomers when they were the same age.

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Automatic Group Student Loan Relief Offered to Defrauded Borrowers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 13, 2017
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

[Washington, D.C.] - The Department of Education announced today that federal student loan borrowers at the defunct American Career Institute in Massachusetts are eligible for automatic group discharge of their federal student loans under the recently finalized borrower defense rule. Investigations by the Department of Education and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, combined with admissions of wrongdoing by ACI, demonstrated that the school misled and deceived students, employed unauthorized instructors, and exaggerated its job placement rates.

“The decision to grant automatic group discharge lifts a huge weight off the shoulders of students who were deceived,” said Reid Setzer, Deputy Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for Young Invincibles. “Discharging loans used to attend fraudulent institutions is exactly what the Department should do in cases like these. The Department has made sure that these defrauded borrowers can get back on track, without having to go through complex and confusing processes that can prevent them from obtaining relief. We hope the Department will continue to protect students from predatory actors and help restore the financial security of students whenever fraud has been found, so they can continue to pursue their educations.”

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New Report from Young Invincibles: Millennials are Significantly Less Financially Secure Than Baby Boomer Parents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 13, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz, Sarah.Schultz@YoungInvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

New Report from Young Invincibles: Millennials are Significantly Less Financially Secure Than Baby Boomer Parents

 Millennials have half the net wealth Boomers did when they were young adults

[Washington, D.C.] — Today, Young Invincibles released its latest report, The Financial Health of Young America: Measuring Generational Declines Between Baby Boomers & Millennials. The report analyzes the economic challenges facing today’s young people and represents the most comprehensive look to date at the financial security of Millennials compared to their parents. The findings are based on a cross-generational analysis of Millennials today compared to Boomers when they were young adults.  In summary, this generation of young people earns lower incomes, is less likely to own a home, and has lower net wealth than their parents’ generation at the same stage in life. Some of the key findings include:

  • Millennials have amassed a net wealth half that of Boomers at the same age.
  • Young adult workers today earn $10,000 less than young adults in 1989, a decline of 20 percent.
  • When baby boomers were young adults, they owned twice the amount of assets as young adults.

“These findings uncover that Millennials have been set back significantly, by not just the Great Recession but by decades-long financial trends, resulting in major generational declines in financial security between Millennials and Baby Boomers when they were the same age,” said Tom Allison, Deputy Director of Policy and Research for Young Invincibles. “Millennials make up the greatest share of the workforce and the largest generation in history, so in many ways the situation facing young adults today forecasts the financial challenges ahead for the nation.”

This report also distinguishes financial security by the characteristics that make this generation unique in the first place: cultural and racial diversity, the increased need for skills to compete in the workforce, and a growing reliance on student debt to finance postsecondary education.

While we’ve seen some progress in closing wealth gaps since the 80s, there are still stark and disturbing disparities in wealth across racial groups. The report shows that young African Americans’ median wealth has declined by a third since 1989. Low wages continue to exacerbate racial disparities, as young African Americans and Latinos earn 57 cents and 64 cents respectively for every dollar earned by young whites.

Regarding student debt, the report underscores that higher education is still on the whole a person’s best pathway to financial security. It is also increasingly necessary in today’s workforce which requires higher levels of education. A college graduate in 2013 earned roughly the same income as a high school graduate did in 1989. Yet student debt is blunting some of the premium a degree provides. Median assets declined faster for student borrowers with a degree (-71 percent), than those with only a high school diploma or less (-54 percent).

The report outlines a bipartisan policy plan to help Millennials start building wealth, which includes the Earned Income Tax Credit, increasing the minimum wage, portable retirement plans, incentivizing ways to save tax refunds, and more. “As the new administration and Congress take office this month, we urge them to consider these findings. We need policies that will help Millennials build wealth and make sure our generation doesn’t fall further behind,” said Allison.

 

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Newly Released Gainful Employment Data Holds Schools Accountable for Return on Student and Taxpayer Investment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 9, 2016
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, sarah.schultz@younginvincibles.org, 202-734-6510

[Washington, D.C.] – Today, the Department of Education released its latest gainful employment data including important information about how well graduates from two-year and four-year career and vocational programs can afford their student debt. Every career program receives a debt-to-earnings ratio showing how much their graduates earn compared to what they borrowed. Programs that exceed debt-to-earnings thresholds for multiple years fail the test and ultimately lose access to federal financial aid. Moreover, the Department of Education could use the data to warn students and families about poorly performing schools.

Christopher Nellum, Policy Director of Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:

“Too many career colleges charge high prices, but fail to adequately train students for the job market, leaving them under mountains of debt with few prospects. Bad actors are particularly common in the for-profit sector, and the newly released data show that 98% of the programs that failed the gainful employment test are for-profit institutions. We’ve consistently supported holding poorly performing schools of all types accountable for providing quality education and for responsibly using student and taxpayer investments.

Despite providing major benefits and protections for consumers and taxpayers, the gainful employment rule is under threat by the incoming Congress, members of which have already expressed a desire to eliminate it or roll it back. This would be a serious mistake. With college costs and student debt rising, we must maintain and strengthen rules like gainful employment, which keep the interests of students first.”

Young Invincibles was a lead student advocate on the gainful employment negotiated rulemaking session.

 

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