This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Young and the Jobless

NEW YORK (BankingMyWay) -- What's really killing the U.S. economy?

How about the financial peril that millions of young Americans face simply because they can't find a job.

In fact, like links in a chain, the recent bad news on the economy has been to a large degree caused by the severe financial limitations placed on America's 18-29 demographic, and this dynamic will continue to handicap the U.S. economy for years to come.

At least, this is the case being laid out by Generation Opportunity, a Washington, D.C.-based youth advocacy group that tracks the financial and cultural progress (or stagnancy, in this case) of young consumers.

According to a Generation Opportunity study, the actual jobless rate for U.S. young adults is 12.8%, or 4.6% higher than the general population (if you buy Uncle Sam's official jobless number, and many economists don't).

According to Generation Opportunity, the list of ramifications from so many young and jobless Americans reads like a Defcon Five warning signal to the rest of the country:

  • 77% of Americans 18-29 years old report delaying action due to the poor economy
  • 44% delay buying a home
  • 28% delay saving for retirement
  • 27% delay paying off student loans or other debt
  • 27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training
  • 26% delay changing jobs/cities
  • 23% delay starting a family
  • 18% delay getting married
  • Since those numbers cover America's next burgeoning consumer class, the data is a blow to not just the 18-29 demographic, but to the rest of the U.S.. Weaker financial clout for young adults hurts everyone -- small businesses, homebuilders, realtors, banks, investment firms, and even the federal government, which can expect lower tax revenues from younger taxpayers.

    According to the youth advocacy group, not only is the general unemployment number for 18-29-year-old Americans 12.8% as of June, but that number doesn't even count the 1.735 million young Americans who have given up looking for work, and are not counted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government office that tallies the unemployed.

    If that 1.735 million group was factored into the equation, the real unemployment rate for young U.S. adults would be 16.8%, Generation Opportunity calculates.

    The youth advocacy organization doesn't mince words when it comes to laying the blame for these numbers at the manicured feet of Washington politicians.

    "For young Americans, through no fault of their own, their story is one of few opportunities, delayed dreams, and stalled careers," says Generation Opportunity president Paul Conway, former chief of staff for the Department of Labor. "Today's unemployment numbers tell the story of millions of young Americans who are paying the price for the failed policies coming out of Washington that have inhibited economic opportunity and job creation."

    "While leaders in Washington travel to communities to make campaign promises and seek to place blame for the results of their failed policies, young Americans are looking for more than rhetoric," Conway adds. "In 2012, their message to candidates is clear - we want to build our careers, get on with our lives, and fulfill our dreams. If the only solutions you offer mean less jobs and more debt for the country, the stakes are too high to risk our vote on a bad bet."

    Neither President Obama nor former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney can afford to take the youth vote for granted this November. Unfortunately for both -- and arguably more so for Obama -- millions of young Americans will have plenty of time to vote on the first Tuesday of November, and they'll likely crawl over broken glass to vote against the candidate they deem too weak on the unemployment issue.

    Can you blame them? After all, living on Ramen noodles and driving a 1992 Nissan Sentra will do that to a voter.

    --By Brian O'Connell

    Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

    Select the service that is right for you!

    COMPARE ALL SERVICES
    Action Alerts PLUS
    Try it NOW

    Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

    Product Features:
    • $2.5+ million portfolio
    • Large-cap and dividend focus
    • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
    • Weekly roundups
    TheStreet Quant Ratings
    Try it NOW
    Only $49.95/yr

    Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

    Product Features:
    • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
    • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
    • A custom stock screener
    • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
    Stocks Under $10
    Try it NOW

    David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

    Product Features:
    • Model portfolio
    • Stocks trading below $10
    • Intraday trade alerts
    • Weekly roundups
    Dividend Stock Advisor
    Try it NOW

    Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

    Product Features:
    • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
    • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
    • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
    Real Money Pro
    Try it NOW

    All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

    Product Features:
    • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
    • Intraday commentary & news
    • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
    Options Profits
    Try it NOW

    Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

    Product Features:
    • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
    • Actionable options commentary & news
    • Real-time trading community
    • Options TV
    To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
    Submit an article to us!
    DOW 17,098.45 +18.88 0.11%
    S&P 500 2,003.37 +6.63 0.33%
    NASDAQ 4,580.2710 +22.5760 0.50%

    Brokerage Partners

    Rates from Bankrate.com

    • Mortgage
    • Credit Cards
    • Auto

    Free Newsletters from TheStreet

    My Subscriptions:

    After the Bell

    Before the Bell

    Booyah! Newsletter

    Midday Bell

    TheStreet Top 10 Stories

    Winners & Losers

    Register for Newsletters
    Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs