Solving the debt crisis is all about jobs for young Americans. And, it should be all about jobs for government, too. Rebuilding national employment brings the returns of a robust economy and a thriving population.
Job creation is needed
The government’s laser focus should be on job creation, the nation, the world, and young Americans, whose futures depend on a working government and economy. The debt ceiling crisis has a self-sufficient solution achievable by addressing unemployment, creating jobs, and staunching the flow of funds supporting vulnerable Americans, who would rather be working. A stalemate that threatens national economic stability is dysfunctional.
New Jersey’s 2011 Regional Forecast
Rutgers Economic Advisory Service, a part of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, offers a semi-annual forecast on the regional economy. In its June, 2011, forecast, “The Recovery is Becoming a Reality,” the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service indicated recovery is not immediate for New Jersey. The report offered a forecast that “not until mid 2016 will the state’s economy have as many jobs as it had at the peak in early 2008.” Slowing the regional and national recovery carries high costs.
Budget wars disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable
A 2011 report by the Economic Policy Institute entitled “The Class of 2011: Young workers face a dire labor market without a safety net” reveals that the most vulnerable are the hardest hit. The Economic Policy Institute’s report indicates the unemployment rate for young high school graduates under age 25 is 22.5% compared to 9.6% for US workers, overall. Education is a factor. College graduates of the same age have an unemployment rate of 9.3%, much closer to the national average.
Another particularly hard hit group are 16 to 24 year-olds, some with and others without high school diplomas, who have an unemployment rate of 18.4%. Additionally, young blacks and Hispanic high school graduates suffer disproportionately high unemployment rates of 31.8% and 22.3%, respectively.
Within those hard hit groups of young black and Hispanics, education helps, but a college education is not a sufficient equalizer. Even for young, black and Hispanic college graduates, the unemployment rate is 19% and 13.8%, respectively.
It comes back to job creation
Jobs – it’s all about jobs. The business of government is stability and prosperity. A political, debt ceiling crisis that degrades the government’s true mission affects local, state, regional, and national prosperity, hitting vulnerable groups the hardest.
For New Jersey, the 2011 Rutgers Economic Advisory Service report forecasts that after the pre-recession peak is reached in 2016, the recovery will “add a further 160,000 jobs by 2021.” Can New Jersey, can the nation’s young employed wait that long? Can New Jersey or the nation suffer lightly budget wars and a cyclical, debt ceiling crisis that disrupt a fragile, economic recovery process? Young Americans cannot.