Sarah Jean Seman

President Obama enchanted young voters with the prospects of "hope and change," however, a study by the Young America’s Foundation revealed the outlook for Millennials has only grown bleaker under the current administration.

According to the study:

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 16.3 percent—one of the highest levels since World War II. Average graduating student debt has reached a record-breaking $29,400. National debt per capita is $52,948—the highest ever. Add it up, and the Youth Misery Index comes out to 98.6 (16.3 + 29.4 + 52.9 = 98.6).

Youth unemployment rates, the national debt, and student debt are all tied to government actions, Ashley Pratte, program officer for public relations at Young America’s Foundation, stated at the National Press Club Tuesday:

"Under the Obama administrations alone, the YMI has increased by 18.1 percent—the highest increase under any president since the study was first conducted in 1993, making Obama the worst president for youth economic opportunity.”

Almost six million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are idle, Pratte said. This latent workforce is neither in school nor employed.

For the youth who elect to attend college, 7 in 10 will exit with student loans to repay. The average in the red for the class of 2013 was $29,400. In the end, many college graduates merely return home, feeling defeated by one of the toughest job markets in the last century, Pratte explained.

According to a February Gallup poll more than half of 18 to 23 year-olds are still living at home:


In addition to emerging from the burden of their own student loan debt, the rising generation will have to compensate for the big budget of Big Government spending. The national debt is currently $54,834.41 per capita.

“As this cost increases, the government will either have to raise taxes or take out more loans to pay the interest. Both of which remove capital out of the private sector, further compounding the problem,” Pratte said.

The Obama Administration has failed to give Generation X a clean start, let alone a head start. The real hope for Americans is their own industriousness and their ability to overcome burdens placed on them by the government.


Sarah Jean Seman

Sarah Jean Seman is a Townhall Web Editor. Follow Sarah Jean Seman on Twitter @sarah_jean_

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography