By: Douglas Bair
“As our young people advance, we all advance,” Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) said this afternoon at the U.S. Capitol addressing a crowd for Young Invincibles’ event unveiling the organization’s new report—In This Together: The Hidden Cost of Young Adult Unemployment.
Young Invincibles, a organization focused on the Millennial population of the U.S., collected data and found that the increased rate of youth unemployment due to the Great Recession costs federal and state governments about $25 billion a year in net losses because of lost revenue these young workers could contribute to the U.S. economy.
Booker offered various solutions to fix the youth unemployment statistics found in the report by expanding registered apprenticeships, investing in national service programs such as Americorps, and reinstating the Youth Opportunity Grant.
Joining Booker at the event was Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) who added that Congress needs to address the cost of higher education as one prescription to fix the youth unemployment issue.
Murray has significant influence in financial policy making in the higher chamber of Congress as she recentlyco-authored the budget deal for Congress following last fall’s government shutdown.
As the Senators applauded Young Invincibles’ efforts in publishing this report, they provided plenty of ways Congress can help young adults experience economic stability as the economy continues to recover.
Specifically, Booker said that raising the minimum wage would help young working adults accomplish stability in their financial lives.
President Obama also addressed the unemployment crisis facing the country this morning.
Speaking to the nation from the White House, Obama urged Congress to extend unemployment insurance aid that expired for 1.3 million Americans on December 28, 2013, after Congress failed to reach a deal to continue the program. Moments before Obama stepped up to the podium, the Senate voted 60-37 to start formal debate on a three-month extension of aid.
“For a lot of people it’s the only source of income they’ve got to support their families while they look for a new job,” Obama said. “It helps Mom pay the rent while she’s learning new skills to earn that new job. It provides that extra bit of security so that losing your job doesn’t that you have to lose your house or everything you’ve worked so hard to build for years.”
Following both the President’s and the Senators’ remarks, the final report recapping the unemployment situation for 2013 will be released this Friday, which will set the tone for how elected officials address the economy in the new year.