The lasting damage of this economy on young workers

posted at 3:31 pm on July 15, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

There’s a lot of talk about the difference between the published BLS unemployment rates and the actual ones, as well as some demographic subsets such as minorities and women. But another slice of the not-very-tasty unemployment pie is the long term impact that the economy is having on the youngest workers. Tiffany Hsu at the LA Times takes a look at who may really be hurting the worst and for the longest.

Had the recession never happened, there would now be an additional 2.7 million jobs for young workers, according to a report this week.

Instead, there’s a Chicago-sized hole in the employment market for people between 16 and 24 years old, according to nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group Young Invincibles.

And there’s a good chance that gap will never close, to potentially devastating effect, according to the “No End in Sight?” report.

“The scary thing is that the recession may never end for young people,” said Rory O’Sullivan, policy director for the group, in a statement.

The current unemployment rate for young folk is at 16.5% — double the national 8.2% rate. More than two in 10 Latino youth are jobless, while three in 10 black youth are unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There seem to be two primary factors at play here, one immediate and obvious, the other more long term and under the covers. For the immediate future, as long as the economy continues to stagnate, young people are not only facing a job market with fewer openings in general, but they are – more so than ever before – competing with older, more experienced workers with extensive resumes. And these older pros are frequently desperate for work and willing to take a job for less money than they ever would before, rather than holding out for higher paying senior positions.

This puts the squeeze on those just entering the work force unless they are coming out of school with some breaking new technology specialization. But even if the economy gets back to something approaching normal ten years down the road, it may be too late for today’s kids.

If they are forced to take lower skill, lower paying jobs today – just to earn something – then that’s all a future employer will see on their resume when more jobs come open. If they face a decade of no significant income with mounting bills, today’s kids may also find themselves buried under a mountain of debt and other burdens which they will never fully remove. If they reach their thirties having never landed a position in the field they trained for, they could well be stuck in “dead end” jobs for their entire career.

This economy is punishing Americans across the spectrum, but the long term damage to young workers may be worse than anything we’re seeing today. A disturbing trend indeed.

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If you voted for Obama and now feel betrayed, just consider the consequences a stupid tax. If you didn’t vote for Obama and feel betrayed, you’re right and you may consider the consequences a penalty.

ghostwalker1 on July 16, 2012 at 1:24 AM

Penalty or tax. If they both feel like a steel-toed boot in the gut, what’s the real difference? Never mind…I know.

SKYFOX on July 16, 2012 at 7:32 AM

The worst part is the best employer for this age group is the government. Good salary and guaranteed raises. My niece went to work for HSA in DC after graduating college. She is doing very well with a standard 10% raise after one year.

I alternate being very happy for her and frustrated with the knowledge that there are probably many more like her all getting high-paying jobs with built-in salary increases at a agency tasked with groping people at airports and ignoring immigration law.

drocity on July 16, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Maybe if the GOP whose goal is to tank the economy for political gain were to retroactively retire, there would be jobs for these youngings.

Uppereastside on July 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Maybe if you liberals took responsibility for your actions, you’d actually admit that what you’re doing isn’t working and that maybe you should try listening to an alternate approach. Of course that’s what us SANE people would do.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — Einstein

dominigan on July 16, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Maybe if the GOP whose goal is to tank the economy for political gain were to retroactively retire, there would be jobs for these youngings.

Uppereastside on July 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

The urge to edit your comment to “FIFY” and turn the reference about the wars was monumental. But I detest folks doing that to my comments and I’ll just say this then.

Even if true, (and it’s not because any reasonable person would admit that this economy starting tanking under a Democrat ran Congress after the Democrat Sub-Prime housing market fiasco) but even if true yoiur side should just SFTU about Republicans hoping the worst for the economy.

Try being deployed for nearly 10 years straight watching young folks die while liberals back home keep a running tally and breathlessly use the “milestones” (young American lives) as their talking point of the day. Try explaining to your kid why half the people talking on TV are claiming what you’re involved with overseas is ruining our country, our relationship with the world and another good portion of them calling you a war criminal outright.

At the very least, Republican politics have always stopped the political bickering at our border when our military came into question.

Your entire party, your side’s entire mindset is pathetic, hypocritical and I don’t think evil is too strong of a word.

hawkdriver on July 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM
A-1. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and over, 1977 to date[Numbers in thousands]

From 2008 to June 2012, the population as a whole grew by 9.4 Million people, but the number of employed DROPPED by 2.9 Million people.

The average Employment-Population Ratio over the course of the entire George W. Bush presidency was 62.7%.

If we had the same Employment-Population Ratio now as we had as an average over the 96 months of the George W. Bush presidency, there would literally be over 10 Million more people employed.

Over 10 Million jobs are missing from the Obama economy.

Bush-era average Employment-Population Ratio: 62.7%
Current population: 243,155,000
Number that should be employed if we had Bush-era employment: 62.7% * 243,155,000 = 152,458,000

What was the actual number of people employed in June 2012?

What’s the Obama jobs deficit?
10,043,000 jobs

Over 10 Million jobs!

ITguy on July 16, 2012 at 10:15 AM