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Something bad happened in the past 10 years to young workers in this country: Since 1999, more of them now have lower-paying jobs, if they can get a job at all; health care is a rare luxury and retirement security is something for their parents, not them. In fact, many—younger than 35—still live at home with their parents because they can’t afford to be on their own.
These are the findings of a new report, “Young Workers: A Lost Decade.” Conducted in July 2009 by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the AFL-CIO and our community affiliate Working America, the nationwide survey of 1,156 people follows up on a similar survey the AFL-CIO conducted in 1999. The deterioration of young workers’ economic situation in those 10 years is alarming.
Some of the report’s key findings include:
• 31 percent of young workers report being uninsured, up from 24 percent 10 years ago, and 79 percent of the uninsured say they don’t have coverage because they can’t afford it or their employer does not offer it.
• Strikingly, one in three young workers are currently living at home with their parents.
• Only 31 percent say they make enough money to cover their bills and put some money aside—22 percentage points fewer than in 1999—while 24 percent cannot even pay their monthly bills.
• A third cannot pay their bills and seven in 10 do not have enough saved to cover two months of living expenses.
• 37 percent have put off education or professional development because they can’t afford it.
• When asked who is most responsible for the country’s economic woes, close to 50 percent of young workers place the blame on Wall Street and banks or corporate CEOs. And young workers say greed by corporations and CEOs is the factor most to blame for in the current financial downturn.
• By a 22-point margin, young workers favor expanding public investment over reducing the budget deficit. Young workers rank conservative economic approaches such as reducing taxes, government spending and regulation on business among the five lowest of 16 long-term priorities for Congress and the president.
• Thirty-five percent say they voted for the first time in 2008, and nearly three-quarters now keep tabs on government and public affairs, even when there’s not an election going on.
• The majority of young workers and nearly 70 percent of first-time voters are confident that Obama will take the country in the right direction.
We can't be you, because we don't live in your time. We don't have the benefit of focus, the cushion of cheap rent, the luxury of not knowing just how complicated the world really is. Instead we have corporate conglomerates, private military contracts, the WTO and the IMF, school debt, and no health insurance. We are savvy and we are saturated and we are scared.
We are painstakingly composing our Facebook profiles because we did our daily round of news sites, and it left us feeling powerless and unsafe, like the only place to put our energies was inward. We are studying abroad because it feels like the only obvious way to interact with the world we care so deeply about. We are dancing at house parties on Friday nights because we talked about your op-ed, the war in Iraq, rape in Congo, but in the end, we just felt overeducated and underutilized.
You call that quiet. I call that coping.
Originally posted by dolphinfan Young folks who don't speak proper English, have poor written and verbal communications skills, don't come to interviews dressed professionally, or with visible tattoos or piercings is something that just did not happen 15-20 years ago. I have had to interview dozens of applicants for a good job, even administrative jobs before I had two or three candidates to choose from.
Originally posted by Albastion
If you are younger and you are lucky enough to be employed, look around your workplace at your coworkers. Do you know how much they are being paid? Keep your sanity and don't ask, the answer might piss you off.