Hope & Change: Only 62 Percent of Millennials Are Employed…

Daniel Doherty

2/9/2013 2:00:00 PM - Daniel Doherty

… and of those 62 percent, half are working part-time jobs (via The Washington Examiner):

A comprehensive new Harvard University report on Americans under 30, the so-called Millennials, shows that the economy is having a crushing impact, with just 62 percent working, and of those, half are toiling at part-time jobs.

The report, released by Harvard's Institute of Politics, paints a depressing economic portrait of young Americans, many of whom are stuck with huge college tuition bills and little chance of finding a high-paying job.

But over half, or 59 percent of those aged 18-29, have gone to college and The report reveals that time in college is a better sign of social status than income, mostly because jobs aren't available.

Contrary to common media wisdom, most younger Americans did not vote in the last election. Of the 46 million Millennials, just half voted. "Although turnout was higher than it was in 1996 and 2000, it was right back to where it has been consistently from 1976-1992," said The report compiled by the National Conference on Citizenship, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University's Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Harvard University's Institute of Politics, and Mobilize.org.

Even so, of the 23 million young people who did vote in 2012, a supermajority cast their ballots for President Obama (via Roll Call):

Last year, of course, the president beat Mitt Romney 60 percent to 37 percent among voters 18-29 years of age, a much better showing than Obama’s 4-point win in the final popular vote (though not as good as his 66 percent showing among younger voters in 2008).

Romney, on the other hand, easily beat Obama among voters 45 and older, many of whom came of age politically during the Reagan years or whose views were formed by the Gipper’s brand of conservatism.

Romney did carry white voters in the 18-29 age group last year, but by only 51 percent to 44 percent. In contrast, he won whites 65 years and older by 61 percent to 39 percent and whites 45-64 by 61 percent to 38 percent.

On the one hand, it’s hard for me to sympathize with members of the Millennial Generation -- many of whom either didn’t vote or overwhelming chose to re-elect a candidate who spent his first term pushing “green energy” and health care legislation, while ignoring the chronically high youth unemployment rate. (Sadly, his second inaugural address pretty much confirmed that job creation is not -- and will not be -- a top legislative priority in 2013). The president, it seems, is going to spend his political capital on combating climate change and introducing more gun control measures during his second term.

On the other hand, the fact that just 62 percent of young people have a full or part-time job is deeply disconcerting. And the implications are startling: nearly 40 percent of Millennials are unemployed and presumably living at home with their parents.

Lawmakers and business leaders need to be doing everything they can to find a way to solve this economic and moral crisis. And the president should be leading the way.

After all, isn’t that why Americans re-elected him?