Young Adult Unemployment Rate at 12.7 Percent in August


New Poll Shows Millennials Continue to Alter Daily Life and Future Plans Due to High Unemployment and Poor Economy

Generation Opportunity encourages young Americans to call the White House and demand an end to policies that limit opportunities forcing delayed dreams and plans for the future through no fault of their own

Washington, DC – (9/7/12) – 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 unemployment rate data for August 2012:

The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds specifically for August 2012 is 12.7 percent (NSA).

The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans for August 2012 is 22.4 percent (NSA); the youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics for August 2012 is 13.7 percent (NSA); and the youth unemployment rate for 18–29 year old women for August 2012 is 12.6 percent (NSA).

The declining labor 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 16.7 percent (NSA).

Generation Opportunity President Paul T. Conway, former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor and former Chief of Staff of the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM), issued the following statement in response to the August 2012 jobs numbers:

“This week, we heard a lot of claims about the impact the policies of this President and his administration have had on the lives of the American people, but nothing speaks louder than the number of Americans unable to find job opportunities, particularly young Americans. The monthly unemployment numbers are a solemn reminder of the millions of Americans facing each day with a growing sense of desperation and lost hope, through no fault of their own. While Washington is not short on rhetoric, it is short on results.

“Young Americans are left holding the bag, feeling the sharp impact of this President’s failed policies in both their daily lives and the loss of their ability to plan for the future. There is a subtle message coming out of the White House that the lack of economic opportunity is due to a lack of training, education, or initiative on the part of Americans, but we know that is not true.

“Young Americans stand ready and willing to serve. They are uniquely qualified to lead this nation and, indeed, the world in this century. However, the stubborn economic policies of this administration offer nothing but empty promises, lost hope, and ongoing high unemployment. There is nothing fair about denying opportunities to an entire generation of Americans, and young Americans are determined to make their voices heard in November to demand real change and expanded opportunities.”

Generation Opportunity is encouraging its Facebook fans, as well as its thousands of grassroots supporters across the nation, to call the White House today at (202) 456-1414 and 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.

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.

89% of young people ages 18-29 say the current state of the economy is impacting their day-to-day lives (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):

51% reduced their entertainment budget;
43% reduced their grocery/food budget;
43% cut back on gifts for friends and family;
40% skipped a vacation;
38% driven less;
36% taken active steps to reduce home energy costs;
32% tried to find an additional job;
27% sold personal items or property (cars, electronic appliances, or other possessions);
26% changed their living situation (moved in with family, taken extra roommates, downgraded apartment or home);
17% skipped a wedding, family reunion, or other significant social event;
1% other;
8% none of the above (accepted only this response);
3% do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).

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).

Only 38% believe that today’s political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.

76% of Millennials plan to vote in the election for President this year.

76% believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class.

64% of young people ages 18-29 believe the availability of more quality, full-time jobs upon graduation is more important than lower student loan interest rates.

61% of Millennials 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.


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. The organization’s social media platforms – “Being American by GO,” “The Constitution by GO,” “Gas Prices Are Too Damn High,” “Lower Taxes by GO,” “Keep Texas Awesome,” “Jersey Proud,” and “We Like Small Government” on Facebook – have amassed a total fan base of more than 4 million. The pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.

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