In the constant race to be the best America is falling behind other large, wealthy nations in at least one major category: Employing the nation’s youth.
In 2000, the United States had the lowest unemployment rate for 25- to 34-year-olds among countries with large, wealthy economies. By 2011, America had one of the highest youth unemployment rates compared to its peers, according to a New York Times op-ed by David Leonhardt, the paper’s Washington bureau chief.
How did the table’s turn on America’s youth? As unemployment soared during the Great Recession, young people -- with and without college degrees -- were forced to compete with more experienced candidates suddenly out of a job for very few openings. The result: Nearly half of the nation’s unemployed are under the age of 34, according to a report last month from public policy organization Demos.
And it doesn’t seem like things will get better for America’s young people any time soon. Demos found that the U.S. economy will have to create more than 4 million jobs before young adults will be employed at levels similar to those before the recession. In addition, 16.1 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 were out of work in April, according to Generation Opportunity, a nonpartisan youth advocacy group.