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Generation vexed: will the recession create a generation of young people without jobs, hope, or prospects?

A worried young person reads a recent issue of the newspaper.
A worried young person reads a recent issue of the newspaper.
Leonrw/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

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Three-quarters of 18 to 29-year-olds responding to a recent poll said they will delay a major purchase or life decision because of the bad economy. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment is 9.1% for all U.S. workers but for 16 to 19-year-olds, it was 25% in July and for people 20 to 24, it was 14.6%. More young people are moving back in with their parents, slowing household formation and contributing to a lowered demand for homes. Some experts say the recession is taking a greater toll on young people and will influence their prospects and their attitudes about the future for decades to come. Paul Conway, president of the nonprofit Generation Opportunity, says that the economic slowdown has interrupted the lives of many young Americans who have had to put their dreams on hold. As a young adult, do you feel hamstrung by the recession? How does the depressing economic outlook affect your attitude about the future?


Paola Giuliano, Assistant Professor of Economics at the UCLA Anderson School of Management

Paul T. Conway, President of Generation Opportunity

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