Katie Pavlich
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Reality check for teens: when you get old enough to vote, don't vote for big government, big empty promising progressives. As schools start to close for the summer, teenagers are looking for jobs....and can't find any.

The American job market is no place for students as the number of employed high schoolers has hit its lowest level in more than 20 years, according to new figures from the National Center for Education Statistics.

In 1990, 32 percent of high school students held jobs, versus just 16 percent now. Blame their elders.

Sectors that traditionally have offered teens their first paying gig — fast-food chains, movie theaters, malls and big-box retailers — have now become the last resorts for out-of-work college graduates or older Americans forced back into the labor force out of sheer financial necessity. The resulting squeeze has left students on the outside looking in.

As Young America's Foundation has pointed out, the Youth Misery Index is higher than ever with more and more young people moving back in with parents, being crushed by college loan debt and unable to find a job. Not to mention the unsustainable national debt our youngest generations will be held responsible for paying back.

At no point in recent history has life been harder for America’s young people. The Youth Misery Index adds together youth unemployment, average graduating student debt (in thousands), and national debt per capita (in thousands).

Youth unemployment is at 17.4 percent—one of the highest levels since World War II. Average graduating student debt has reached a record-breaking $26,300. National debt per capita is $46,900—the highest ever. Add it up, and the Youth Misery Index comes out to 90.6 (17.4 + 26.3 + 46.9 = 90.6).

What does this number mean? Like Jimmy Carter’s Misery Index, the YMI uncovers some real threats to our nation’s prosperity. The government is largely responsible for all three problems, and we’ve found a statistically significant relationship between government expenditures and the Youth Misery Index. Each indicator can be tied to government actions.

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Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.

“ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING! Intrepid investigative journalist Katie Pavlich rips the lid off Team Obama’s murderous corruption and anti-Second Amendment zealotry" says Michelle Malkin.

"Katie Pavlich draws back the curtain on a radical administration that put Mexican and American lives at risk for no discernible reason other than to advance an ideological agenda." - David Limbaugh

Buy Katie's book today and help us keep the pressure on Obama and his attorney general Eric Holder and expose the cover-up.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography