Over the last 12 years, the United States has gone from having the highest share of employed 25- to 34-year-olds among large, wealthy economies to having among the lowest. So reports the New York Times.
Over one quarter of 25 to 34-year olds are unemployed. The exact percentage is 26.6 percent. That’s up from 18 percent back in 2000. The reason? It’s twofold:
“First, [our long economic slump] has exacted the harshest toll on the young — even harsher than on people in their 50s and 60s, who have also suffered. And while the American economy has come back more robustly than some of its global rivals in terms of overall production, the recovery has been strangely light on new jobs.”
In part, employers are particularly reluctant to add new workers and create new jobs, but economists have yet to figure out why. The best strategy to ensure employment continues to be graduating college, as the official unemployment rate for college grads in that demographic is only 3.3 percent.
In face of the dearth in new jobs, this group has exhibited unprecedented optimism. According to recent polls, they are much more hopeful than older generations that the country’s future will be bright and even better than its past.