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March 4, 2008

youth unemployment rate hits 18%

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for people between ages 16-19 was 18 percent in January, 2008. I'm looking at a table that goes back to 1998, and this is the highest rate shown. (It was 13.9 percent in January 1998). For ages 25 and older, the unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in January, and that's below where it was for most of 2001-5. In other words, the current weak employment market is mainly a problem for our youth.

Why don't we hear more about this on the campaign trail? Although "young people" are now voting, young voters are mostly (79%) college students or people with some college experience. The other half of young people--those with no college experience--are not part of the campaign. Therefore, we hear some talk about the cost of college and some discussion (albeit not enough) about issues that especially concern idealistic college students, such as climate change. But there is silence about the serious plight of working-class youth.

March 4, 2008 9:39 AM | category: none


There's a bit of disconnect between national & local press coverage here. National press coverage tends to focus on the college kids. But Obama and Clinton have both made stops at community colleges recently where they emphasized the need for workforce training outside of four-year colleges.

But as you say, this is a much smaller share of the electorate than, say, white men in manufacturing jobs.

March 4, 2008 10:09 AM | Comments (1) | posted by Nick Beaudrot

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