Youth unemployment in Greece is about 48%. In the US, youths 18-24 have an unemployment rate of 45.7%. The highest rate since the government began tracking such information.
Squeezed by a tight job market, young Americans are especially struggling. They have suffered bigger income losses than other age groups and are less likely to be employed than at any time since World War II.
An analysis by the Pew Research Center, released Thursday, details the impact of the recent recession on the attitudes of a generation of mostly 20- and 30-somethings.
With government data showing record gaps in employment between young and old, a Pew survey found that 41 percent of Americans believe that younger adults have been hit harder than any other group, compared with 29 percent who say middle-aged Americans and 24 percent who point to seniors 65 and older. A wide majority of the public - at least 69 percent - also said it’s more difficult for today’s young adults than their parents’ generation to pay for college, find a job, buy a home or save for the future.
Among young adults ages 18 to 34, only a third rated their financial situation as “excellent” or “good,” compared with 54 percent for seniors age 65 and over. In 2004, before the recession began, about half of both young and older adults rated their own financial situation highly.
“Young workers are on the bottom of the ladder, and during a recession like we’ve had, it’s often hard for them to hold on.They are clearly less satisfied with their current circumstances than they were before the recession. This may be where some of the anger and frustration being expressed in the Occupy movement is rooted.They have a long way to climb back, and a lot of displaced workers to compete with.”
said Kim Parker, associate director of Pew’s Social & Demographic Trends project. She noted that some have been heavily involved in the nationwide “Occupy” protests over economic disparity.
At risk of becoming a “lost generation,” many young adults are going back to school or scraping by on waitressing, bartending and odd jobs as they wait for the economy to slowly recover.
- The share of young adults 18-24 who are employed has dropped to 54.3 percent, the lowest level since the government began tracking such data in 1948.
- Young adults working full time have median weekly earnings of $448, about 6 percent less than in 2007
- About 19 percent of men ages 25-34 were idle in the weak job market, neither working nor attending school. That’s up from 14 percent in 2007.
- Fewer than half of young adults who are currently working say they have the education and skills necessary to advance in their careers.
Although youth unemployment is at it’s highest, 43 percent said they were extremely or very confident that they could find another job if they lost or left their current one despite opposing statistics.