Despite the fact that American youths turned out in record numbers for the 2008 Presidential election seeking “hope” and “change” and the promise of a brighter future, the latest reports from the Census show that young people in the country are now the most disenfranchised by the current state of affairs.
According to The Associated Press, American youths, in record numbers, are opting to live with their parents, delaying marriage, buying fewer homes and often raising children out of wedlock.
Census data released Thursday shows the impact of a recession that “officially” ended in mid-2009. It highlights the missed opportunities and dim prospects for a generation of mostly 20-somethings and 30-somethings coming of age in a prolonged slump with high unemployment.
Nationally, employment among young adults ages 16 to 29 stood at 55.3 percent, down from 67.3 percent in 2000 and the lowest since the 1940s. Young males who lacked a college degree were most likely to lose jobs due to reduced demand for blue-collar jobs in construction, manufacturing and transportation during the slump. Among teens, employment was less than 30 percent. The employment-to-population ratio for all age groups from 2007 to 2010 dropped faster than for any similar period since the government began tracking the data.
Lackluster performance in the President’s promise for a bright future has shown in polls as American youths — once excited about a young, minority President — have become more cynical about the political landscape before them. A Gallup poll released earlier this month showed Obama’s support among adults ages 18 to 29 went from 59 percent to approval to 46 percent.
“The group that just graduated from college – who were in college for the first campaign – they have a little bit more cynical look because they remember why they voted for him,” Dr. Adam Chamberlain, assistant professor of politics at Coastal Carolina University told The College Fix. “They were stimulated by his campaign ideas of change and wanting to see a new type of government arise from this, and that didn’t happen, of course.”