- - Monday, May 26, 2014


It’s that time of year again — graduation season. While commencement ceremonies should be a time of celebration for college graduates, it has rather become a moment of panic.

Young America’s Foundation latest polling shows that 51 percent of graduating college seniors feel “nervous” about their future after graduation. Many of the respondents blamed their anxiety about the future on the bad economy. Of the graduating seniors that were polled, 39 percent said they are not at all optimistic about finding a job in the first few months after graduation.

The Obama administration and liberals in Washington are consistently letting down our nation’s young people. Graduating from college is no easy feat, and for graduates to feel skeptical about finding a job and pessimistic about their economic future is just plain disappointing.

One of the most startling results from the poll was that 37 percent of graduating seniors think they will end up “worse off” than their parents’ generation. This seems to be a reflection of America’s continued economic decline and slow recovery under President Obama. With youth unemployment sitting at 18.1 percent, college seniors are feeling hopeless about their job prospects.

Given the current state of the economy, 43 percent of respondents said they had planned on getting their own place, but now will not. This goes to show that youth unemployment will adversely impact the housing market as well, since fewer young adults will be purchasing homes. Overall, 44 percent of graduating seniors said that they will move back home with their parents after graduation, with many saying this was not their original plan. It’s not surprising however, since 67 percent of graduates are already $10,000 to $70,000 in debt owing to student loans.

Young graduates entering the workforce — if they are fortunate enough to have a job — feel insecure about their personal financial stability and feel as though they won’t be reasonably compensated for more than a year.

Recent articles and polls articulate the impact that our economy has on our students. Seventy-two percent of graduates have already filled out at least one job application, and 20 percent have applied to 10 or more jobs. Sadly, out of those who have applied, 56 percent have not received a single interview.

There is not only a sense of desperation among graduates searching for jobs, but anxiety also exists when it comes to getting married and starting a family. Many young adults think that they need to be financially stable in order to make such a serious commitment to another person. Out of the respondents, 26 percent planned on getting married and starting a family, but will delay those plans, citing job insecurity and financial instability as obstacles.

No matter how you slice it, young people’s concerns about their future have a real impact on our economy and our society as a whole. More people in the workforce generate more spending, more spending generates more revenue and more revenue generates economic success for our country. When young people gain confidence in their personal situations, they feel comfortable planting their roots and starting families, which also will have a positive impact on our society and economy.

The policies coming from Washington should encourage and promote job growth and should not financially burden our nation’s youth. Balancing America’s budget on their young backs will only slow the economic recovery.

Ashley Pratte is the spokeswoman for Young America’s Foundation.

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