Jobs Numbers for December: National Unemployment Levels Remain Above 8 Percent for 35 Consecutive Months

Millennials Can No Longer Wait for Change From Washington -- They Want Substance Over Spin and Empty Promises

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Generation Opportunity President Paul T. Conway, former Chief of Staff of the US Department of Labor, responds to the December 2011 jobs numbers report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

"Young Americans can no longer wait and trust that change will come. With so many individuals needing to settle for less than satisfying employment opportunities and delaying major life decisions, today's unemployment numbers offer little hope. Young people need real full-time job opportunities – challenging and satisfying jobs that launch them into their careers. Unfortunately, they are now being told that there is a new picture of success that should be sufficient to them – one marked by short-term fixes, internships, mentorships, and multiple part-time jobs. Young adults know the difference between substance and spin, and they do not want to be told to settle.

"If our nation's elected leaders want to show true empathy for those without jobs and have a real impact, they will stop pretending they have any expertise with job creation, admit their job-killing policies of over-regulation and increased taxes are the true barriers to youth employment, and step back and let private employers do what they do best."

December's 8.5% overall jobless rate fails to reflect the significant and ongoing challenges faced by young Americans. Hidden behind the numbers is the fact that many Americans have either accepted short-term, seasonal work or simply given up looking for work and are therefore not factored into the unemployment rate.

Bloomberg news reported last month that the November 2011 jobless rate was partly due to "a 278,000 gain in employment at the same time 315,000 Americans left the labor force" while the labor participation rate "declined to 64 percent from 64.2 percent."

In addition, Bloomberg noted that a temporary bump could also have been attributed to seasonal considerations because "employment at service-providers increased 126,000, including a 50,000 gain in retail trade at companies hired for the holiday shopping season. The number of temporary workers increased 22,300." November and December are months that typically see the heaviest amount of part-time, seasonal hiring as retailers and other businesses gear up for the holiday season.

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

Dissatisfaction with Current Level of Employment and President Obama's 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.

Leaders In Washington, D.C. Fail to Reflect Interests of Young Americans:

  • 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.

Government Spending and 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.

2012 – What Would Make Young People More Likely To Vote?

  • When asked, "Which, of the following, would make young people more likely to vote?" – young Americans indicated:
  • 66% Facebook Message Reminder
  • 58% Text Message Reminder
  • 38% Email Reminder
  • 28% Public Service Announcement
  • 13% Phone Call


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 will continue to engage young Americans on issues that impact their lives and the nation as a whole and encourage them through both social media and grassroots organizing to become more civically engaged and make their voices heard.

Generation Opportunity operates on a strategy that combines advanced social media tactics with proven grassroots tactics to reach young 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 2 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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