Continued High Unemployment of 9% and Poor Economy Impacts Millennials Particularly Hard

Combined With the Lack of Job Opportunities, 43% of Young Adults 18-29 Are Not Satisfied With Their Current Level of Employment

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Generation Opportunity President Paul T. Conway, former Chief of Staff of the US Department of Labor, responds to the October 2011 jobs numbers:

"Every day, at a very personal level, young adults are being negatively impacted by the poor economy. Today's report once again highlights the unemployment crisis for young people and reflects the ongoing ineffectiveness of failed policies coming out of Washington D.C. The unemployment numbers are particularly concerning when you consider that 43% of young adults are not satisfied with their current level of employment. Millennials demand less federal spending and expect the government to get out of the way of small businesses and other employers who know how to create jobs."

October marks the 32nd consecutive month that the national jobless rate has remained close to or well above 9%. Unemployment climbed to 8.5% in March of 2009, reached 10.2% in October of that year, and remained close to that number throughout 2010. At the beginning of 2011, the unemployment rate was 9%, and while it dipped to 8.8% in March, it quickly rose again and has remained above 9% ever since. October's dismal 9% overall jobless rate does not reflect the significant challenges faced by young Americans, who face historic unemployment. For example, The New York Times reported a youth unemployment rate of 18.1% in an August 25th story.

Adding even more insight to the long-term unemployment crisis, the Federal Reserve this week made a downward change to its forecast for economic growth in 2012 and indicated an expected average unemployment rate of 8.5 to 8.7 percent next year.

Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and a highlighted result for all young Americans ages 18-29 appears below:

Dissatisfaction with Current Level of Employment and Handling of Unemployment:

  • 43% are not satisfied with their current level of employment.
  • Just 31% of 18 – 29 year olds approve of the President Obama's handling of youth unemployment.

Delayed Dreams Resulting from a Poor Economy:

  • 77% of young people ages 18-29 either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors:

44% delay buying a home;
28% delay saving for retirement;
27% delay paying off student loans or other debt;
27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
26% delay changing jobs/cities;
23% delay starting a family;
18% delay getting married.

Beliefs About Leaders In Washington, D.C.:

  • 69% say the current leadership in Washington fails to reflect the interests of the younger generation.
  • Only 36% believe there is the right leadership in Washington.
  • 61% indicated that a candidate's positions on issues and record in office will be more important than charisma and likeability when they cast their vote for President in 2012.

Views on Government Spending and the Creation of More Economic Opportunity:

  • 76% of overall Millennials would favor a decrease over an increase in federal spending from its current level if given the chance to set America's fiscal priorities.
  • 69% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals in order to balance the federal budget.
  • 59% of overall Millennials agree the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.
  • 53% of overall Millennials agree if taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire.
  • Millennials – when asked on a scale of 1 (meaning not at all) to 5 (meaning a very big concern) how much of a concern America's current "financial debt"/"deficit" rates, 66% indicated very big concerns with America's "financial debt" and 71% indicated very big concerns about America's "deficit."

National Security Concerns and The Future of American Leadership:

  • Top three greatest threats to American National Security: National Debt (62%), Energy Dependency (61%), and Indebtedness to Foreign Powers (50%). The threat of terrorism at (39%) followed as the fourth major national security concern.
  • 76% view China as a danger: 48% as an economic threat and 28% as both an economic and military threat.
  • 54% – more than one half – are not confident that the US will be a global leader in just 10 years. Only 9% said they were "very confident" that the US would be.
  • 70% (net) would increase production of domestic energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal.


Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, to early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.

Generation Opportunity operates on a strategy that combines advanced social media tactics with proven field tactics to reach Americans 18-29. The organization's social media platforms – "Being American" on Facebook and "The Constitution" on Facebook – have amassed a total fan base of more than 1.7 million. Both pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal General Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.

Read about">Generation Opportunity here; visit">"Being American" on Facebook here, and">"The Constitution" on Facebook here.

For our Spanish-language page –">Generación Oportunidad – click here.


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