Unemployment Rate of Millennials Garnering Attention and Move for Change


It’s no secret that the unemployment rate of those that are 15 – 24 years old is a serious problem in the United States, especially when we see that almost a quarter of young people in that age range are unemployed.

The concern for the futures of millennials grows even more when we take into account the high student debt rate and the many degree holders that are among those struggling to find work.

There isn’t a quick fix option here and the plan off attack will need to be orchestrated on a large scale and with a long term plan in order for real change to take place. In an effort to come up with some viable solutions to the unemployment epidemic, a conference was held at Columbia University’s International House just this past Friday. A meeting of the minds took place when various policymakers, economic experts and leaders from other non-governmental organizations.

After batting the issue around for the better part of the day, the meeting yielded some interesting suggestions that may end up with promising results. Here are the top suggestions made during Friday’s conference:

Infrastructure investing was at the top of the suggestions list. Fareed Zakaria, CNN host and columnist for the Washington Post said “Some of the highest unemployment numbers are in construction. We need to use the low borrowing rates right now to invest in infrastructure.”

Construction was hit very hard by the 2008 recession and is still struggling to gain solid ground six years later. The roads and buildings in our country are hurting in certain areas and could really use some help, which could mean a change for unemployed youth. Making an investment of this nature will create more jobs and allow many millennials to use the skills that they have worked so hard to gain while in college.

Another of the promising ideas brought up during the conference was to instate an exclusion of prior juvenile records. This is actually something that has recently been brought up in terms of what may hinder certain students from applying to college. Speaking out in support of this suggestion is Andrew Moore, a senior fellow for the National League of Cities. He says, “In cities where a large amount of youth are unemployed, there is often a high involvement with the juvenile justice system. Expungement of juvenile records needs to work properly so being in the system doesn’t hold them back.”

We know that this is going to be a rather long and arduous process, but the future of millennials is at stake and the ripple effects of their specific unemployment crisis will be felt widely. Hopefully the forward motion towards change is in the near future.

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