Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why Kids Today Have It Worse Than Their Parents

To understand why today’s young people have it so hard, take a look at their parents.

Today’s 20-somethings are, broadly speaking, the children of the last of the Baby Boomers, those born in the late 1950s and early 1960s. That generation, like this one, came of age in the midst of a brutal recession: The unemployment rate for 18-24 year-olds topped 17 percent at the end of 1982. (In 2010, it briefly crossed 18 percent.)

But for that generation, unlike for this one, the situation quickly improved. By the end of 1983, the unemployment rate for 18-24 year-olds had dropped below 14 percent, and it didn’t get back above that mark until the latest recession. This time around, joblessness among young people remains over 15 percent three years after the recovery began.

The slow recovery hits people of all ages, of course. But it’s likely to be especially hard on the young, as a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes clear. The report looks at data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which in 1979 began tracking nearly 10,000 Americans born between 1957 and 1964. Read more: Wall Street Journal

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