Youth Jobs Crisis
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. John Conyers today introduced legislation to address a youth unemployment crisis in the United States by creating jobs for 1 million young Americans.
The youth unemployment rate in the United States for 16- to 19-year-olds was 19.6 percent in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The African-American youth unemployment rate is 32.8 percent.
“The most serious crisis facing this country is the lack of decent-paying jobs, particularly when it comes to young Americans,” Sanders said. “If young high school graduates are unable to find entry-level jobs, how will they ever be able to develop the skills, the experience and the confidence they need to break into the job market?” he asked.
“Nearly six million young Americans are neither in school nor working,” said Conyers. “This is a national emergency that demands immediate federal action. By empowering states, local communities, nonprofits, and small businesses to train and hire young Americans, this legislation will restore financial security, productivity, and dignity. Our economy and society are strongest when our young people enjoy decent opportunity.”
Sanders and Conyers emphasized that youth unemployment has long-term consequences. People who experience early bouts of unemployment make 10 to 15 percent lower wages than their peers and so-called “wage scars” may last up to 20 years.
- A Serious Discussion: “What's good for America is a serious debate about the very, very serious issues that America faces,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said in an interview on Monday. “The provocative political independent … argues both parties have lost touch with the frustration and anger many Americans feel about the country's course,” according to USA Today. There is “real frustration” in America with the lack of debate about the collapsing middle class, health care and the growing income and wealth inequality, he said on MSNBC.