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Another Summer Bummer?

- January 5, 2012

Obama Thinks We Can’t Wait For His “New” Summer Jobs Program But We’re Still Waiting For The Last One To Work

“President Obama On Thursday Will Unveil A Summer-Jobs Initiative That The White House Says Is Already On Track To Create 180,000 ‘Work Opportunities’ In The Private Sector In 2012.”  (Erik Wasson, “Obama To Unveil Summer-Jobs Initiative,” The Hill, 1/5/12)

THE LAST TIME OBAMA PROPOSED A SIMILAR PROGRAM, IT FAILED TO LOWER YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT AND WAS DUBBED A “HALF-DISASTER”

In 2009, The White House Vowed To Create 125,000 Summer Youth Jobs With The Stimulus. “In the Next 100 Days:  Create 125,000 Summer Youth Jobs Why?  Providing young people with jobs during the summer months is crucial to both the development of our next generation of productive citizens and to the strengthening of our nation’s economy. Empowering our young people through meaningful summer employment will keep them off the streets and provide them with valuable work experience. Along the way, they will develop critical work habits and skills that will pay dividends throughout their adult lives.” (“Providing Opportunities For America’s Youth,” The White House, Accessed 1/5/12)

Despite The Program, Youth Unemployment Soared To Record Highs Not Seen Since 1948

The Unemployment Rate For Youth 16-24 Years Old Increased From 18.0 Percent In June 2009 To 18.3 Percent In August 2009. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Accessed 1/5/12)

  • Youth Unemployment Reached 18.5 Percent For 16-24 Year Olds In July 2009, The Highest In That Month Since 1948. “Vice President Joe Biden described the Workforce Investment Act summer program as a way to keep teens out of trouble and off the streets while reinvigorating the country’s summer youth employment program, which had gone dormant for a decade. But the program didn’t prevent youth unemployment rates from soaring to 18.5 percent in July, the highest rate measured among 16-to-24-year-olds in that month since 1948.” (Garance Burke, “Despite US Stimulus, Teens Left Without Jobs,” The Associated Press, 9/27/09)

“Almost One-Quarter Of The 279,169 Youths In The $1.2 Billion Jobs Program Didn’t Get Jobs.” “The Obama administration’s economic stimulus program to find jobs for teenagers this summer couldn’t overcome one of the bleakest job markets in more than 60 years that had desperate adults competing for the same work. Almost one-quarter of the 279,169 youths in the $1.2 billion jobs program didn’t get jobs, as more adults sought the same low-wage positions at hamburger stands and community pools, according to an Associated Press review of government data and reports from states.” (Garance Burke, “Despite US Stimulus, Teens Left Without Jobs,” The Associated Press, 9/27/09)

Congressional Auditors Said The Government’s Measure Of The Program’s Success Was Too “Haphazard.” “Congressional auditors warned yesterday that the government’s plans to measure the success of the federal program are so haphazard that they ‘may reveal little about what the program achieved.’ The new report from the Government Accountability Office said many government officials, employers, and participants believe the program was successful.” (Garance Burke, “Despite US Stimulus, Teens Left Without Jobs,” The Associated Press, 9/27/09)

“The Summer Program Was Basically Half-Disaster.” “‘The summer program was basically half-disaster,’ said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston.” (Garance Burke, “Despite US Stimulus, Teens Left Without Jobs,” The Associated Press, 9/27/09)

  • “It Was Too Little, Too Late, And Too Poorly Constructed To Have Any Lasting Effect On Our Youngest Workers.” (Garance Burke, “Despite US Stimulus, Teens Left Without Jobs,” The Associated Press, 9/27/09)

HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT IS HITTING YOUTH PARTICULARLY HARD, WHICH IS CAUSING “HEADWINDS” FOR OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN

“The U.S. Labor Market Is In A Malaise, But Young Adults Are In Crisis.” (Joe Light and Lauren Weber, “Generation Jobless: For Those Under 24, A Portrait In Crisis,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/7/11)

  • Extended Youth Joblessness Often Results In “Painful Long-Term Effects.” “A prolonged period of joblessness during one's first few years in the labor market can also have painful long-term effects. A young man who spends a year unemployed before age 23 will be earning 23 percent less than his peers a decade later, according to The Economist. For young women, the earning gap is 16 percent.” (Alexander Eichler, “Youth Employment Shows A Surprising Rise, Though Overall Picture Remains Grim,” The Huffington Post, 12/1/11)

“High Youth Unemployment Could Create Headwinds For President Obama's Re-Election Campaign.” “Some political analysts believe that high youth unemployment could create headwinds for President Obama's re-election campaign, even though young voters were responsible for so much momentum during Obama's 2008 campaign. In poll after poll this year, voters have consistently named jobs and the economy as their most pressing concerns.” (Alexander Eichler, “Youth Employment Shows A Surprising Rise, Though Overall Picture Remains Grim,” The Huffington Post, 12/1/11)

“Voters Under 30 Have, As A Group, Become Increasingly Disillusioned Dealing With The Demoralizing Economy.” (Alex Katz, “Young Voters’ Ardor For Obama Has Wilted,” The Boston Globe11/14/11)

“There’s A Deep-Seated Feeling Of Malaise.” “‘There’s a deep-seated feeling of malaise out there,’’ said Thomas Patterson, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government who focuses on electoral participation.” (Alex Katz, “Young Voters’ Ardor For Obama Has Wilted,” The Boston Globe11/14/11)

  • 48 Percent Of Young Voters Say Obama Makes Them Hopeful, Down Sharply From The 81 Percent He Inspired In 2008. “A survey released this month by the Pew Research Center found that just 48 percent of young voters - those 18 to 29 years old - say Obama makes them feel hopeful, compared with 81 percent in November 2008.” (Alex Katz, “Young Voters’ Ardor For Obama Has Wilted,” The Boston Globe11/14/11)

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