The Young People’s Recession

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The nation’s unemployment topped 10 percent in last month, but for young people, that number is much higher. The unemployment rate for 16-to-24-year-olds is almost double the national average, according to The Nation, up near 18.1 percent for September. Since December of 2007, those young people have lost some 2.5 million jobs, the most of any age group. And even though the stock market seems to be looking up, the employment picture for young people still looks bleak.

“I hope people are really clear that this is not an equal-opportunity recession, that it’s hurting the weakest,” Dedrick Muhammad of the Institute for Policy Studies Program on Inequality and the Common Good told The Nation. Low-income and people of color have been the hardest hit, according to Muhammad’s research. For unemployment white people in their early 20s is less than half (13.1 percent) of African Americans (27.1 percent). At the same time, college tuition and health care costs have been steadily rising.

The bright spot midst the crisis is the political engagement that young people continually display. According to The Nation, “many young people have already begun coming together, in protest and coalition-style advocacy.” They’re fighting for better health care, education, jobs, and to make sure this kind of recession doesn’t happen again.

Source: The Nation

Update: For more on the charge to keep young people politically engaged and create more opportunities for the millennial generation, read about Maya Enista, one of Utne Reader’s visionaries who are changing your world.

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