Young Americans See High 12.0 Percent Jobless Rate as Presidential Election Nears

Poll by Generation Opportunity Shows 76 Percent of Young Americans Plan to Vote in Presidential Election, and Only 29 Percent Say Washington's Policies Help Them

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Generation Opportunity, the largest non-profit, non-partisan organization in the United States engaging and mobilizing young Americans on the important economic issues facing the nation, announced non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) 18-29 youth unemployment rate data for October 2012 as the Presidential election nears:

  •  The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds specifically for October 2012 is 12.0 percent (NSA).
  •  The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans for October 2012 is 21.4 percent (NSA); the youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics for October 2012 is 13.4 percent (NSA); and the youth unemployment rate for 18–29 year old Women for October 2012 is 11.8 percent (NSA).
  •  The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.7 million young adults that are not counted as "unemployed" by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
  •  If the labor force participation rate were factored into the 18-29 youth unemployment calculation, the actual 18-29-unemployment rate would rise to 16.5 percent (NSA).

Generation Opportunity President Paul T. Conway, former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine L. Chao and former Chief of Staff of the United States Office of Personnel Management, issued the following statement in response to the October 2012 jobs numbers:

"The unemployment numbers released today confirm yet again what young adults have been experiencing in their daily lives and what they have been watching their friends and families go through for the past few years – high unemployment and an unrelenting lack of opportunity to build a future. They are not satisfied with the status quo and know that in order to get this country back on track and to build a path to realize their dreams for the future, the time is now for change. Under President Obama, young Americans have endured historically high, sustained unemployment and underemployment.

"Young Americans know their careers and dreams have been held back by a poor economy resulting from the relentless execution of failed policies and leadership that lacks empathy. They are savvy and determined, knowing full well that periods of unemployment or a series of part-time jobs are not acceptable and are no substitute for meaningful, full-time jobs that make full use of their education and skills.

"For the President, the failure to address young adult unemployment and to understand the negative impact on their hopes will, in retrospect, be seen as the reason why he lost support among millions who once believed in his ability to affect lasting change."

Generation Opportunity is encouraging its four million Facebook fans, as well as its thousands of grassroots supporters across the nation, to register to vote and to register friends and family to vote. Using the tag line – "Pledge to GO Vote" – the group is urging its supporters to demand that the policies of the last three and a half years, which have stifled job creation, be reversed in favor of policies that free up Americans to create jobs, to hire, and to restore the American tradition of access to opportunity for all.


  •  76% of Millennials plan to vote in the election for President this year.
  •  Only 38% believe that today's political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.
  •  76% of Millennials believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class.
  •  Only 29% say that the economic policies coming out of Washington are helping them.


  •  64% of Millennials believe the availability of more quality, full-time jobs upon graduation is more important than lower student loan interest rates.
  •  61% say the availability of more quality, full-time jobs with health insurance plans is more important than the ability to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they are 26. 
  • 69% of Millennials agree with the statement "if taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire." Only 23% disagree.
  • 65% of Millennials agree with the statement "the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference." Only 25% disagree. 


  •  84% of young people ages 18-29 had planned to but now might delay or not make at all a major life change or move forward on a major purchase due to the current state of the economy (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):

-- 38% buy their own place;

-- 32% go back to school/getting more education or training;

-- 31% start a family;

-- 27% change jobs/cities;

-- 26% pay off student loans or other debt;

-- 25% save for retirement;

-- 23% get married;

-- 12% none of the above (accepted only this response);

-- 4% do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response). 


For Generation Opportunity, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend conducted a nationwide online survey of 1,003 adults ages 18-29 between July 27 and July 31, 2012. Randomly selected online opt-in panel participants were sent an invitation to the survey via email which included a secure link to the online questionnaire. Quotas were used to ensure the survey was representative of the larger 18-29 year old nationwide population with regard to race, region, and gender. The data were NOT weighted. The overall sampling margin of error for the survey is ±3.1% at a 95% confidence interval, meaning that the data obtained would not differ more than 3.1 percentage points in 95 out of 100 similar samples obtained.


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 and has amassed a total fan base of more than 4 million. The organization operates in Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire, Florida, North Carolina and multiple other states across the country.

Read about Generation Opportunity here; visit "Being American by GO" on Facebook here, "The Constitution by GO" on Facebook here,  "Gas Prices Are Too Damn High" on Facebook here,"Lower Taxes by GO" on Facebook here, "Keep Texas Awesome" on Facebook here"Jersey Proud" on Facebook here, and "We Like Small Government" on Facebook here.  The pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Los Angeles Times, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street JournalThe Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.

For our Spanish-language page – Generación Oportunidad – click here

Follow us on Twitter @GenOpportunity.


Matthew Faraci – 202-997-1636 | EMAIL                                                                                                  

David Pasch – 202-230-7947 | EMAIL

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