While the government reported Friday that the overall jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, President Obama’s important bloc of voters under age 30 still faces a much tougher job market, according to the Labor Department’s latest survey.
The unemployment rate for workers in the 18-to-29 age range was 11.8 percent in September. While that’s higher than the national jobless rate, it was still an improvement from August, when the unemployment rate for those under 30 was 12.7 percent.
The president of Generation Opportunity, a Washington-area nonprofit group that mobilizes young people on economic issues, said the numbers tell “a devastating story.”
“What adds to the gravity of today’s report is the current administration’s casual dismissal of the facts and their stubborn insistence on moving forward with the same policies of the last three-and-a-half years regardless of the consequences,” said Paul T. Conway. “Young Americans know this is not fair, and they are asking why the White House continues to push policies that are moving them backward. They want solutions, not slogans, not excuses, not empty promises.”
The unemployment rate for blacks under age 30 in September was 21.0 percent; the rate for Latinos in the same age group was 12.1 percent. If the labor force participation rate were factored into the 18-29 youth unemployment calculation, the overall percentage of Americans aged 18 to 29 either jobless or not in the workforce at all would rise to 16.6 percent.
A Generation Opportunity survey found that 47 percent of young voters say economic policies in Washington are hurting them, while only 29 percent said those policies are helping. About 76 percent of those polled said they intend to vote in the presidential election.