Youth Participation in Job Market Remains at Near-Record Low


Youth unemployment (ages 16-24, seasonally adjusted) has jumped to 16 percent in October, compared to 15.5 percent in September. The youth unemployment rate is more than double the 7.9 percent overall rate.

There are 295,000 fewer young Americans employed than when President Obama took office, and the youth participation rate in the job market remains at a near-record low 55.3 percent (the historic average is 66 percent).

For those in college or graduating college, employment opportunities have decreased while costs have skyrocketed. Here are just a few of the economic realities facing young people:

Average earnings for graduates have decreased 6 percent since President Obama took office.
Tuition has increased 25 percent in the last four years due to President Obama’s easy loan policies. Average graduating student loan debt has increased 16 percent.

President Obama has averaged the highest youth unemployment rate–17.5 percent–for a single term in recorded history.
Under the “Affordable Care Act”, healthcare costs for young people will increase by 45 percent. Student healthcare plans have already increased as much as 1,112 percent due to the legislation’s mandates.

Students have a 30 percent chance of moving home with their parents after college, and 53 percent of recent graduates are unemployed or underemployed.

Young people deserve better. By the end of President Reagan’s first time–less than four years after he inherited a worse economy than today’s–youth unemployment began to drop significantly. By the end of the recovery, youth unemployment dropped from 18.8 percent to 10.7 percent–a 43 percent drop.

President Obama has had four years to turn this economy around, yet he continues to point fingers and refuses to take responsibility.

As we pointed out this week in a New York Post op-ed, “No matter how many times Katy Perry or Bruce Springsteen beg them, young Americans won’t (to steal a phrase from Obama) get “Obamnesia” and forget the last four miserable years. We haven’t gone “forward,” we haven’t seen positive “change” and we’ve lost “hope.” Slogans and celebrities won’t fool young voters again.”


By Celia Bigelow and Ron Meyer, Students Against Barack Obama /  American Majority Action