Young Invincibles Hails Bill to Expand Apprenticeships, Connect Young Adults to the Workforce


April 9, 2014

Contact: Colin Seeberger,, 214.223.2913

Young Invincibles Hails Introduction of Booker-Scott LEAP Act to Expand Apprenticeships, Connect Young Adults to the Workforce

Youth Unemployment Rate Is More Than Twice the National Rate

[WASHINGTON]—Today, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC) introduced the Leveraging and Energizing America’s Apprenticeship Programs “LEAP” Act, a bill designed to combat chronic, high young adult unemployment by incentivizing employers to increase the number of apprenticeships available to young people. The LEAP Act would specifically target relief for the young unemployed by granting companies a $1,500 tax credit for hiring new registered apprentices under 25 and a $1,000 tax credit for those 25 and older. It also rewards companies with existing apprenticeship programs if they expand them, particularly to those under 25.

“Making sure that young people have the skills they need to succeed in their careers is key to driving down youth unemployment and maximizing their economic opportunities,” said Rory O’Sullivan, Policy & Research Director of Young Invincibles. “Apprenticeships do just that. We know that youth unemployment costs every American, so we applaud Senators Booker and Scott for working across the aisle to combat this profound crisis.”

Earlier this year, a new report from Young Invincibles found that high youth unemployment costs federal and state governments—thanks predominantly to lost tax revenue—over $25 billion annually, representing an average annual cost of over $171 per taxpayer.

According to the March 2014 Bureau of Labor & Statistics labor report, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year-olds is 14.5 percent, whereas the national unemployment rate is 6.7 percent. The report also found that the unemployment rate among young black workers is a staggering 23.6 percent (non-seasonally adjusted).


Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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Young Invincibles’ Statement on March 2014 Jobs Report


April 4, 2014

Contact: Colin Seeberger,, 214.223.2913

Young Invincibles’ Statement on March 2014 Jobs Report

Young Unemployed Continue to Be Left Behind Despite Broader Job Gains

[WASHINGTON]—As the national unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent and the economy added 192,000 jobs in March, the unemployment rate for 18 to 29 year-olds dipped slightly to 10.9 percent from 11.4 percent in February (not seasonably adjusted). For younger workers, ages 16 to 24, the unemployment rate increased marginally to 14.5 percent from 14.4 percent in February (seasonally adjusted).

Jen Mishory, Deputy Director of Young Invincibles, released the following statement on this month’s jobs report:

“Young adults continue to face unemployment rates twice the national average, so cuts like those proposed in the House Budget Committee’s FY2015 budget undermine our generation’s chance at getting a job and climbing the ladder of economic mobility. We need solutions that invest in young people and connect them to the workforce, like increasing apprenticeships and an expansion of AmeriCorps.”

Here is more information on how different populations of young people fared in February 2014:

* The unemployment rate for Black young adults ages 16 to 24 in March is 23.6 percent compared to 23.5 percent in February (not seasonally adjusted).

*The unemployment rate for young men ages 16 to 24 in March is 16.0 percent compared to 16.1 percent in February (not seasonally adjusted).

*The unemployment rate for young Latino young adults ages 16 to 24 in March is 13.8 percent compared to 15.7 percent in February (not seasonally adjusted).

*The unemployment rate for young women ages 16 to 24 in March is 12.9 percent compared to 12.6 percent in February (not seasonally adjusted).


Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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Connecticut youth labor market remains stagnant

Middletown Press 

By: J. Brian Charles

Young adults face a grim labor market, according to recent reports that show new entrants have little access to valuable work experience.

And the bleak job picture for new entrants into the labor force is costing states like Connecticut millions of dollars in payroll taxes and social safety net benefits.

For the first time in more than 60 years, the job market shrank over the course of the last decade. The scarcity of available jobs largely affected new entrants into the workforce. The unemployment rate for 18- to 34-year-old job seekers remained higher than 10 percent for 70 consecutive months between early 2008 and the last quarter of 2013, according to an analysis of labor statistics done by Young Invincibles, a group advocating for Millennials. And according to the Brookings Institution, youth job market participation fell dramatically.

“Youth don’t currently get much experience when they get out of college. You might be lucky if you get an internship,” said Konrad Mugglestone, a research fellow with Young Invincibles and the co-author of “In This Together: The Hidden Cost of Youth Unemployment,” a new report detailing the challenges faced by younger job hunters.

“When the economy is down, if you have a choice between someone with zero experience or more years of experience, you take the person with more experience,” Mugglestone said.

Young Invincibles formed in 2009 to offer Millennials a voice in the debate over health care reform. The groups has since grown, and now is looking at the effects of the economic downturn on young adults.

Economists contend that young people’s job prospects often are suppressed by downward pressure on the labor market, a residual effect of the economic calamity of the last decade.

“There is considerable less churn in the labor market,” said Connecticut-based economist Don Klepper-Smith. “Some people are rebuilding 401(k)s (retirement funds) that got hit. There are less job opportunities because older workers are staying at their jobs longer.”

For young workers, not being able to get a toehold in the economy has long-term effects.

“The more of an employment record someone has and the greater their connectivity to the job market, the better they are going to do in life going forward,” said Pete Gioia, economist with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.

According to the Center for American Progress, a 22-year-old man who is unemployed for six months will earn 8 percent less at age 23, and often can expect to earn $22,000 less over the course of the next decade.

Ultimately, the flagging youth labor market cost states in lost revenue and a slight increase in spending on safety net supports. Between 2010 and 2012, unemployed adults between the age of 18 and 34 cost the state of Connecticut $26,984,756.81, in mostly lost revenue and some additional social service spending, according to Young Invincible’s analysis of labor statistics.

Each Connecticut taxpayer had to chip in additional $68.82 to account for the revenues lost to youth unemployment, the seventh-highest rate in the country, according to the youth advocacy group’s study of labor statistics and the net results of youth unemployment.

The recent move by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to push the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017 may have deleterious effects on low-wage workers and by extension the employment prospects on young adults.

“Maybe Walmart can absorb this, but a small pizza chain or a regional restaurant can’t deal with this,” Gioia said.

According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would lift 900,000 Americans out of poverty, but could cost the economy 1 million jobs.

Higher labor costs likely will drive companies, even in the service industry, to automate, according to Gioia.

“Maybe we can get by with half the waitresses by putting tablets on the tables, and allowing customers to order their food,” he said.

The current credit market, where interest rates remain low, may speed the pace of automation.

“First, I think companies will begin to take longer-term views on what can and can’t be automated. If you are going to look at automation, the next 18 months are when you are going to take a serious look at automating because of the cost and availability of credit,” he said.

However, labor advocates say the business community continues to cry wolf about the effects of increased labor costs and the ability to automate what are often service industry jobs.

“We hear the same apocalyptic scenario every time we ask businesses for similar concessions,” said Taylor Leake, spokesman for the Connecticut Working Families Party, which pushed hard for the minimum wage increase.

Leake acknowledges the increasing trend of automation, but doesn’t expect companies to move swiftly to automate.

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Deadly myth about millennials: The dark truth about a misunderstood generation


By: Tim Donovan

There is a demographic group in crisis today, though they’re rarely discussed. Occasionally, they’re used as a foil on conservative cable news shows, where overpaid hosts sneer derisively at their endemic “laziness.” Sometimes, members of Congress will trot them out as straw men to drum up support in rural districts.

These are not your struggling baristas with their undergraduate degrees and mountains of debt, or your former-newsmen-turned-retail-drones. They’re not “overeducated and underemployed.” No, this demographic group, the undereducated and underemployed, are in far more dire straits. This subset of millennials might not look like the “Gen Y” that’s commonly portrayed in the media — this site included. They aren’t the duck-faced “Rich Kids of Instagram,” the Lena Dunhams or the Mark Zuckerbergs that we use as generational stand-ins (rather than, say, wealthy and successful millennials LeBron James and Kendrick Lamar).

These millennials – young, undereducated, poor and, all too often, minorities – exist in a state of permanent crisis, victims of a new economic disenfranchisement that took root in the Great Recession and, in the years since, has stubbornly remained. We’re only now beginning to grasp its full scope — and its potential implications for our nation’s future.

A recent Pew Research study, “The Rising Cost of Not Going to College,” has made some of the more troubling realities that these kids face exceptionally clear: As an increasingly large share of young Americans earn degrees from institutions of higher learning, the remaining millennials are getting left further and further behind. Americans aged 25-32 without any time at college earn $17,500 less per year than their college-educated peers.

Alternatively, by looking at the recent employment figures of people aged 16-24, the Brookings Institution has cast a light upon the tenuous fates of the undereducated underemployed, a group still experiencing levels of unemployment and underemployment that haven’t existed in this country since the Second World War. The study focuses on ”labor force underutilization,” a measure that attempts to quantify underemployment by grouping the “officially” unemployed with those who desire employment (but have stopped actively looking) and those who are working part-time (but would prefer more hours).

Youth unemployment historically tracks at twice the national average, regardless of the economy’s health. While 7 percent unemployment is certainly a national crisis, it also augurs an even bigger issue — a staggeringly high underemployment rate for young Americans. Seven years past the recession, the youth underutilization rate remains stubbornly high: above 40 percent for 16-19-year-olds, and nearly 30 percent for millennials aged 20-24.

Put more plainly, none have it worse than undereducated millennials. Among this group, almost half are either unemployed, have given up on the labor market entirely, or been forced to work low-wage, part-time gigs:

If America could reduce unemployment from 7 percent (roughly where it stands now) to 5 percent (slightly below the historic average), we could immediately bring youth underemployment back to pre-recession levels, delivering hundreds of thousands of millennials from endemic poverty and spiraling, self-perpetuating joblessness.

There are plenty of other good reasons to address youth unemployment: for one, it costs the United States $25 billion a year, mostly in the form of lost tax revenue. In a report from the “post-recession youth advocacy group” Young Invincibles, the study’s authors suggest that we expand a number of already-extant programs to help jump-start employment, provide young Americans with valuable work experience, and incentivize businesses to take on more employees, all of which would spur economic growth. (As just one example, adding 600,000 new apprentices to the Department of Labor’s “Registered Apprenticeship Program” would yield a return-on-investment of 5,000, percent, or $74.4 billion in total “social benefits to the economy over the lifetime of each graduating class.”)

Meanwhile, the employment prospects for older Americans have actually improved during this period. Should we be surprised? Adecco Staffing Agency polled more than 500 H.R. managers and found that they were three times as likely to hire older workers as millennials. In a labor market where workers’ leverage is vanishing before our very eyes, this has profound results:

Of course, there are some who would suggest that this isn’t a big deal: Young people have always experienced the highest levels of unemployment, and they tend to have fewer financial obligations that would necessitate better-paying jobs. Youth, the convention goes, is the time to gain work experience by trying on a number of different jobs (whether you like it or not), and positioning yourself at the bottom of the career ladder (where, presumably, you can wait patiently for your older colleagues to grow old and retire — or die).

Unfortunately, the trap of long-term unemployment makes getting a new job near-impossible for those individuals unlucky enough to be caught in its maw. As they attempt to return to our cutthroat labor market, these victims of the Great Recession must compete with candidates who don’t carry the Scarlet Letter of a lengthy stint on unemployment across their résumés. And while the negative consequences of joining the labor market during a recession tend to recede with time, research into unemployment’s more long-term effects suggests that ”workers with the lowest predicted earnings are permanently down-ranked to firms paying lower wages.” This phenomenon is known as “economic scarring,” where “outcomes are passed across generations,” and “economic hardships for parents will mean more economic hurdles for their children.” Even when underprivileged youth manage to get an education, they’re still more likely to face long-term negative consequences from this recession: “Among graduates, those at the bottom of the wage distribution and those with the lowest predicted earnings suffer significantly larger and much more persistent earnings losses than those at the top.”

For half a century, mainstream economists have understood that high unemployment and low economic output are causally linked – and yet Congress has done practically nothing to address either problem.

Perhaps that’s because the primary victims of this moribund economy are the wrong type of people, the “lazy moochers” who surely must deserve every hideous misfortune that we, as a society, haven’t bothered to prevent or address.

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Booker Promotes Private Sector Summer Internships for Youth


WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) office announced the beginning of a multi-part initiative to address high rates of youth unemployment. The starting point is an effort to highlight summer internship programs offered by New Jersey’s employers to help make young New Jerseyans aware of local openings.

Booker is encouraging New Jersey businesses large and small to tell him about their summer internship programs at He will then highlight the businesses over his social media platforms, which reach millions.

“New Jersey businesses do so much to create opportunity and strengthen communities,” Booker said. “And helping young people acquire the skills they need to join a 21st century workforce is key to the state’s long-term economic health.

“That’s why I’m committed to highlight and celebrate businesses that are investing in our youth and to help make young New Jerseyans aware of employers in their communities that are looking to hire for the summer.”

According to a recent study conducted by youth advocacy organization the Young Invincibles, young Americans aged 18-34 have now seen double digit unemployment rates for more than 70 consecutive months, and the youngest workers, aged 16-24, face an unemployment rate more than twice the national average.

The failure to acquire work experience early on has a big impact on earnings over the years and reduces productivity. But high youth unemployment isn’t just bad for young workers. It is bad for the whole economy.

According to the study, the US is losing $25 billion annually because of severely high young adult unemployment, and each unemployed person between 18 and 24 will cost his or her federal and state government over $4,100 annually.

Importantly, persistently high youth unemployment is a significant part of the overall unemployment picture in the US – a nagging problem making it hard for all workers to see wage gains. If we move closer to full employment, workers’ bargaining power will increase, which will likely cause wages to rise.

“We’re in this economy together. What affects my neighbor – or my neighbor’s child – affects me, affects us all,” Booker said. “For many young people, a summer job sticks with them for years and often creates a blueprint for their professional ambitions. I want to help young New Jerseyans learn about businesses in their communities that are looking to hire for the summer and ensure that businesses in our state get the recognition they deserve for investing in our youth.”

Businesses are encouraged to sign up at to register existing or new internship programs. All opportunities will be highlighted on Senator Booker’s Facebook and Twitter platforms.

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El desempleo juvenil en EE.UU. tiene un alto costo

By: Shaila Dewan

El desempleo alto y persistente entre los jóvenes tiene un costo de US$ 25.000 millones en impuestos no cobrados, y en mucho menor escala, implica mayores gastos en la red de seguridad social, según un nuevo informe. “La conclusión clave es que no sólo se ven afectados los individuos como miembros de nuestra generación”, dijo Rory O’Sulivan, director de política e investigaciones de Young Invincibles, un grupo promotor de la juventud posrecesión, que hizo el estudio. “Cuando hay toda una generación de gente sin empleo, crea tremendos costos para los contribuyentes ahora y en el futuro.”

Un 15% de los trabajadores de entre 16 y 24 años están desocupados, mientras que en el total de la población la tasa de desempleo es de 7,3 por ciento. El mencionado informe es un esfuerzo por cuantificar el efecto financiero actual. Sus autores estimaron cuánto habrían pagado los jóvenes en impuestos si hubieran estado trabajando y cuánto menos habrían cobrado del gasto en el seguro de desempleo y otros gastos de bienestar social. A cada trabajador desocupado de entre 18 y 24 años le corresponden US$ 4100 al año, concluyeron, y a los de entre 25 y 34 años, US$ 9875, según el estudio.

Basado en estas cifras, si se redujera la desocupación juvenil a la tasa previa a la recesión, según el estudio, el gobierno federal habría recuperado US$ 7800 millones o US$ 53 por contribuyente, y los gobiernos estaduales y municipales recuperarían US$ 1100 millones.

Si la gente desalentada que no se cuenta como desocupada porque no busca trabajo estuviera en la fuerza laboral, la cifra total sería mayor: US$ 25.000 millones. Alrededor de 93% de esa cifra viene de impuestos que se habrían cobrado y el resto de la reducción del gasto social. El informe estimó que el efecto por contribuyente en los estados sería mayor en Alabama, Kentucky y Carolina del Norte.

Las conclusiones han renovado el interés por programas que dejaron de estar de moda hace años, como los puestos para aprendices y las escuelas secundarias vocacionales. El presidente Obama anunció que premiará a los colleges y universidades que demuestran la capacidad de ubicar a sus graduados en puestos de trabajo pagos.

“De pronto la gente habla de la juventud”, observó Anthony P. Carnevale, director del Centro sobre Educación y la Fuerza Laboral de Georgetown, que escribió una introducción al último informe. “El temor es que la gente joven ya no será de clase media”, dijo.

Aun así Carnevale dijo: “El gasto para la jubilación está desplazando la inversión en los jóvenes, especialmente la inversión en capital humano”. Young Invincibles advirtió, por su parte, que los programas de empleo para jóvenes federales han registrado recortes de US$ 1000 millones al año desde 2002 y recomendó “expandir el programa de aprendices registrados del Departamento de Trabajo y AmeriCorps, un programa nacional de servicios, que tuvo más de medio millón de solicitudes en 2013 para 80.000 puestos”, dijo O’Sullivan. Promueve que se restaure la financiación de los Subsidios de Oportunidades para los Jóvenes, que apuntaban a jóvenes en riesgo y terminaron en 2005.

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The millennials’ rut: Why it costs all of us


By: Nia Hamm

They’re called the “invincibles” and the “lost generation.” Today’s young American adults have had to endure one of the worst recessions in 70 years and then watch as their futures seemingly evaporate before them.

Many are educated, stuck in dead-end jobs or unemployed, living with their parents and seeking government assistance.

“If these persons are not quickly reconnected with the economy and the workforce, we are truly looking at a lost generation in terms of upward mobility and productivity,” said Joe Minarik, director of research for the Committee for Economic Development, a nonprofit, public policy research group.

recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York sheds some light on just how severe the jobs crisis is for young adults.

Using Census data, the researchers found that the percentage of unemployed young adults-currently about twice the national average-and those who are underemployed or working in jobs that don’t require the degrees they hold, has risen steadily since the 2001 recession.

Research indicates that through 2012, about 44 percent of young, working college graduates were underemployed and the quality of jobs held by those underemployed has declined, with today’s recent graduates increasingly accepting low wage jobs or part-time work, sometimes pushing other low-skilled workers out of the labor market.

What it costs

The youth jobs crisis is costing the U.S. economy and may continue to do so for years, further hindering this generation’s ability to contribute to economic growth.

One report from a youth advocacy group called the Young Invincibles, measuring only lowered tax revenue and safety net costs, found that high unemployment among millennials, ages 18-34, costs the U.S. more than $25 billion annually. And jobless rates for millennials have been in double digits for nearly six years with the youngest among them, ages 16-24, experiencing the highest rate at 15 percent.

Other studies put the cost of youth unemployment at several hundred million dollars a year. Experts say this trend could undo many gains of the economic recovery.

“At a time of tight budgets when we’re already trying to recover from the recession and invest in things like education, … having so many people out of work, we’re really shooting ourselves in the foot here,” said Rory O’Sullivan, Young Invincibles’ policy director and chief author of the report.

To be fair, higher unemployment and underemployment for young workers isn’t unusual as they generally have a tougher time in the labor market because they’re the least connected to the workforce. But some economists believe this is more than a cyclical labor trend.

Recent figures suggest there has been a reversal in demand for cognitive skills. A report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that since 2000, businesses have needed fewer people to perform high-tech jobs that initially drove the information economy.

Hiring of college graduates sank after the information technology revolution of the 1990s reached maturity, according to the report. Demand for cognitive skills subsequently fell during the first decade of the 2000s, forcing college graduates farther down the occupational ladder.

“The demand for this group is slowly going down, but we’re also educating still more people, and so that makes the situation very difficult when you don’t have a lot of demand,” said Paul Beaudry, co-author of the report.

Ph.D.s and food stamps

Nobody knows that situation better than 30-year-old Rachel Bolden-Kramer, who graduated from Harvard in 2006 with a major in social studies. After graduating, she started a nonprofit but lost funding within a year. She attempted to enter the labor market, but like many of her peers she did not have much luck.

Bolden-Kramer eventually became a yoga and a so-called mindfulness instructor, moved to New York City and has been self-employed ever since.

“That’s kind of what kept me out of searching for jobs and continuing with the entrepreneur track. I didn’t feel very encouraged by what other people, my peers, were finding with jobs. It didn’t seem like they were getting much more of an advantage financially even if they found a job.”

To make ends meet, Bolden-Kramer used food stamps. This experience inspired her to write what she calls a “food stamp cook book” that explains how to have a nutritious diet on a limited income. She is trying to get it published.

“I have friends who are Ph.D. candidates that are food stamps eligible,” she said, “or in medical school, or whatever it is, or just like brilliant 28-year-olds who are living in New York (where) rent is so high.”

Don’t blame it all on the recession

Contrary to popular belief, the data show that the jobs crisis cannot simply be ascribed to the Great Recession .

This presents a bleak outlook for this group of young workers who, according to economists, are already more likely to see permanent negative effects on their wages because they began their careers in a weak labor market.

“Once the larger economy is fully recovered from the after-effects of the Great Recession, this cohort will still be feeling the effects because the effects of entering the labor market during a downturn are severe and last a long time,” said Heidi Shierholz, an economist for the Economic Policy Institute.

And it may be too late to reverse some of the policy and fiscal impacts of the jobs crisis for America’s youth.

Recession-impacted millennials tend to believe that success in life was more a matter of luck than hard work, according to a study from UCLA Anderson School of Management economist Paola Giuliano and International Monetary Fund advisor Antonio Spilimbergo.

“This can make them less entrepreneurial,” Giuliano said. “Perhaps as a result of believing that luck is important, they also want more government intervention in the economy.”

College still does matter

This doesn’t mean college students should just drop out of school and graduates should burn their degrees.

New York Fed researchers also found that while the labor market is much worse for young people who do not have a college degree, college graduates as a whole fare the best, experiencing unemployment rates at about half the rate of all workers, though unemployment was consistently higher for recent graduates, ages 22-27.

Certain majors, especially those in fields providing technical training such as engineering or math and computers or those geared toward growing parts of the economy such as education and health, have also done relatively well.

That, however, does not account for the huge remainder of young adults in other fields with bleak prospects and mounds of debt, which economists believe could be a huge drag on the economy for years to come.

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The Recession Robbed Every Young Worker of $22,000


By: Sean Savett

This shouldn’t shock anyone: America has a jobs crisis and it’s taking a serious toll on young workers. Battered and bruised by an economy that hasn’t recovered from the Wall Street recession, nearly 16% of workersyounger than 25 remain out of work, roughly 1 in 5 Americans between 25 and 34 are neither working nor attending school and half of recent college graduates are working jobs that don’t require a college degree.

These problems are dramatic and they demand the full focus of politicians in Washington, D.C. But too often, attention in Washington has centered around the deficit and austerity, while ignoring how we need to invest in our youth and create opportunities for jobless workers.

Well this new report should grab the attention of deficit-hawks and youth advocates alike. Two organizations, Young Invincibles and the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, measured how much high youth unemployment contributes to the deficit annually. No surprise, they found the amount of lost tax revenue is high: $8.9 billion.

This expense is shouldered by more than just the U.S. Treasury. Missed opportunities for young workers to gain professional experience are problematic, as the report found, because “the best evidence warns that lack of work experience now will lead to dismal consequences…down the road” such as “repressed wages, decreased employment and reduced productivity.” As a result of their current economic misfortunes, “young Americans aged 20 to 24 will lose $21.4 billion in earnings over the next 10 years. That’s roughly $22,000 less (in earnings) per person” than if they had not suffered through the recession.

So how do we get these workers back to work and create an economy of the future? As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka outlined before the State of the Union, we can great good jobs by investing in infrastructure, in high-tech manufacturing, in high-speed rail and in 21st century energy solutions. We can increase access to higher education and apprenticeship programs, expand paid service initiatives like AmeriCorps, raise the minimum wage and pass comprehensive immigration reform with a road map to citizenship. Each of these initiatives will pump extra dollars into the economy, create good-paying jobs for the jobless and underemployed and increase the economic security of working families, all while giving businesses more customers and workers more bargaining power.

As we’ve previously reported, the challenges facing young workers are steep and a full recovery is a big challenge. In order to return to pre-recession employment levels, the United States would “need to create about 1 million jobs for 18- to 24-year-olds, and another nearly 500,000 jobs for 25- to 34-year-olds.” This problem demands our full and immediate attention because, as the new report shows, our country cannot afford to wait any longer.


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Young Invincibles’ Statement on February 2014 Jobs Report

March 7, 2014

Contact: Rae Roca,, 202.378.3526

Young Invincibles’ Statement on February Jobs Report

Young Adults Continue to Struggle Through Stagnant Job Market

[WASHINGTON, DC] – The economy added 175,000 jobs in February 2014, but young workers are still far behind. The unemployment rate for 18- to 29-year-olds rose slightly from 11.3 to 11.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted) – and remains well above the overall unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. Unemployment rates also ticked up slightly for the youngest workers ages 16 to 24, rising from 14.2 percent in January to 14.4 percent in February.

Rory O’ Sullivan, Policy and Research Director of Young Invincibles said, “Young adults are tired of the dismal unemployment reports and are ready for our legislators to invest in our future. Instead of costing taxpayers billions of dollars by ignoring unemployed young workers, Congress should invest in job training programs and apprenticeships that will reconnect our generation to the workforce.”

Here is more information on how different populations of young people fared in February 2014:

* The unemployment rate for Black young adults ages 16 to 24 in February is 23.5 percent compared to 26.2 percent in January (not seasonally adjusted).

*The unemployment rate for young men ages 16 to 24 in February is 16.1 percent compared to 15.4 percent in January (not seasonally adjusted).

*The unemployment rate for young Latino young adults ages 16 to 24 in February is 15.7 percent compared to 15.5 percent in January (not seasonally adjusted).

*The unemployment rate for young women ages 16 to 24 in February is 12.6 percent compared to 13 percent in January (not seasonally adjusted).

For more information, visit


Young Invincibles is a national organization committed to amplifying the voices of young adults, ages 18 to 34, and expanding economic opportunity for our generation. Young Invincibles ensures that young adults are represented in today’s most pressing societal debates through cutting-edge policy research and analysis, and innovative campaigns designed to educate, inform and mobilize our generation to change the status quo.

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Youth Unemployment Is Costing The World Billions

Huffington Post 

By: Jillian Berman

NEW YORK — Every morning Brett Lalli wakes up and spends two to three hours searching for jobs. The 22-year-old has sent out about 50 resumes over the past several months, but has received just one request for an interview.

For a few months after graduating in May, Lalli did have an internship at a marine biology lab, but it didn’t pay. She was only able to take that job thanks to her parents’ financial support. Now, she’s “free loading” at their home in Salt Lake City, Utah, until she lands a full-time, paying gig.

Lalli’s acutely aware that her situation has become somewhat of a generational norm. She recently penned a blog post lamenting her status as “an archetype of a jaded, impoverished post-grad” that’s the subject of Buzzfeed gifs and episodes of the television show “Girls.”

“A lot of my friends are going through the same thing,” the self-described millennial said. “It’s something that we almost kind of joke about.”

Lalli’s story of unemployment in the U.S. has an often more violent and dramaticcounterpart abroad, as the growing numbers of jobless youth around the world have prompted an economic and social crisis.

“When you look at the global scale of youth unemployment and the global size of the youth population, clearly it can work to undermine global growth,” said Nicole Goldin, director of the Youth Prosperity and Security Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“On the social side when you have large cohorts of young people that don’t feel they have a stake in the game, and in particular where there are not the social safety nets to help them feel they have a future, you have a real sense of no alternative and that contributes to unrest and criminality,” she added.

In the U.S., the crisis is costing American taxpayers $25 billion annually in the form of lost tax revenue and government benefit payouts, according to a recent report by Young Invincibles, an advocacy organization for young people.

“We have a generation that is disproportionately out of work and is very much struggling right now, and it’s going to take a significant toll on those individuals but it’s also going to be a tremendous cost to everyone,” said Rory O’Sullivan, a policy analyst at Young Invincibles and one of the authors of the report.

A variety of factors have contributed to high levels of jobless youth in the U.S., O’Sullivan said. Like most economic downturns, the Great Recession hit the youngest Americans the hardest. It also followed several decades that saw young people getting pushed out of the labor force as jobs increasingly required more skills. Now, O’Sullivan said, jobless youth are in a Catch-22: Employers want applicants with experience, but young job seekers can’t get in the door to get it.

The situation is even more dire in parts of Europe and the Middle East. In an analysis compiled for The WorldPost, the International Labor Organization compared youth employment-to-population ratios of advanced and emerging G-20 countries. It found that if France and Italy boosted their numbers to match the ratio in Australia, they could increase GDP growth by 1.4 and 1.2 percent per year respectively. Saudi Arabia could increase its annual GDP by 2.3 percent, and the U.S. by 0.6 percent per year if it reached Australia’s levels of employment.

Jobless young people abroad are also more likely than their American counterparts to take a job in the informal economy, such as the black market, which often means ending up in dangerous or illegal industries, Goldin said. In the U.S., millions of college graduates are forced to take jobs in sectors like retail and fast food — which means they earn less, and as a result pay less in taxes than they would in a healthy job market, according to O’Sullivan.

Vanessa Tate is one of those people. Over the holiday season, she worked 60 hours a week splitting her time between a Bath & Body Works and a LongHorn Steakhouse in Tampa, Fla. Despite working two jobs, Tate said she could barely scrape together enough to pay her bills, let alone save up or buy Christmas gifts.

“I don’t ever want to have to work that hard or that many hours for such a low wage,” said Tate, who earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida in 2007. “I have a degree and the fact that I am working so hard at these positions where literally anyone could walk in the door and do it is extremely frustrating.”

Tate said her job search has become so stressful that she’s considering graduate school, but only at programs that have a high job placement rate. “I’m trying to plan this a little bit better this time around,” she said.

But with youth unemployment hovering in the double digits in the U.S., a graduate degree still isn’t necessarily enough to get hired. Jelissa Conway earned her master’s degree in marriage and family counseling in May 2012. Yet instead of working her dream job helping college students find leadership positions on campus and jobs post-graduation, the 27-year-old drives for an hour to a job in retail that pays $8.50 an hour.

Conway said she’s emailed countless resumes, but gotten few responses. “It’s so redundant,” she said. “I’m sending out all of this stuff, I don’t even get as much as a phone call.”

Her experience in the dismal job market has made her rethink her educational path and all of the work she put into building her resume with internships, volunteer opportunities and leadership roles in school, she said.

“A part of me feels lied to and in a sense, cheated, because I was told you can be anything you want to be,” Conway said. “To a degree I still agree with that, but you can only be what you want to be if someone has a job for what you want to do.”

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