The youth is the future, as often said. Thanks to the crushing effects of this economy however, our youth is finding it difficult to grow up.
To move from one's parents is often a crucial step towards full maturity. This crucial phase is being stifled, delayed, and curbed by the Great Recession. The impact is reported by the Pew Research Center. Of those living in what they define as "multigenerational homes"; seven in ten of these households are with adult children under the age of thirty.
Furthermore, Pew finds that 37% of adults ages 18-to-29 are either unemployed or out of the workforce. In an effort to evade poverty, more individuals are moving back in with relatives or acquire a roommate as a form of informal charity shelter. Many have been forced to return to a state of childhood dependence despite their best effort at independence. Among those of age 25-to-30 who living with their parents, 35% claim that they once lived independently on their own.
College enrollment has also skyrocketed as of late as another avenue of escape. Unfortunately, disappointment often waits on the other side of graduation. To illustrate, take the number of graduates in May 2011 compared to the number of jobs created that very same month.
A total of 3,205,000 post-high school degrees were conferred in May of 2011, yet only 54,000 new jobs were created that month. With a labor market already approximated at around 198 million people, such a ratio of new-jobs-to-new-graduates spells easily falls short of what's necessary to launch the promise of a new generation into the labor market. Even the most optimistic of estimates places a rate of 130,000 jobs per month as necessary if a return to pre-recession unemployment is to be obtained. The 84,000 jobs created in October, though a "recent high" still falls woefully short of a solution.
Since the days of the baby-boomers, college enrollment has gone up by 15.6%. Never before has a generation arisen with the promised of highly developed talent and education, prepared to lead us into the new, service-based economy of the Information Age. Without the opportunity to put these talents to practice however, suppressed income and dismal dependence will prove to be the killer of this Dream.