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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 4, 2013 

CONTACT: Jamal Little

202.741.6251; jlittle@americanprogress.org

RELEASE: Creating Jobs for Millennials Will Jump-Start Our Nation’s Economic Recovery

Washington, D.C.—To ensure the future economic prosperity for Millennials, we cannot afford to keep more than 10 million young Americans out of work. Generation Progress, the youth outreach arm of the Center for American Progress, released a new issue brief today addressing the need to create jobs for Millennials to strengthen the middle class and stimulate our economy.

Due to current levels of high unemployment, Millennials stand to lose more than $20 billion in reduced wages over the next decade. To put young Americans back to work, lawmakers should expand national service opportunities, implement summer jobs programs, and invest in broad-based job creation that reduces our overall unemployment rate and hastens the economic recovery.

“The American economy just isn’t working for young Americans,” said Sarah Ayres, co-author of the brief and an economic policy analyst at the Center for American Progress. “Congress needs to focus on creating jobs for the 10 million young Americans who are out of work. This is not just a youth problem, as the consequences of failing to do so will spill over into the broader economy.”

As written in an earlier report, high levels of unemployment not only hurt young people today, but they limit Millennials’ future economic prospects. This issue brief presents three solutions designed to create jobs for Millennials and spur the economy.

  1. Expanding National Service Opportunities. The demand for national service continues to rise.  In 2011, AmeriCorps received a record 582,000 applications for only 80,000 positions. The Peace Corps received 150,000 requests for applications for their 4,000 positions. To respond to this demand, Congress should establish new national service corps with a goal of offering one million national service positions, support the creation of an online national service certification system, and fully implement the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.
  2. Create summer and year-round jobs for young Americans. Congress should establish a program to support jobs for young workers, based on successful programs included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that created more than 370,000. Creating year-round job opportunities can also establish pathways to the workforce for young people who are currently neither working nor in school.
  3. Invest in broad-based job creation. Though President Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act of 2011 never became law, lawmakers can enact some of its much-needed job creation measures.  Congress should invest $50 billion in rebuilding our nation’s crumbling transportation system, rehire America’s teachers and first responders, and create pathways to employment for the unemployed.

“Creating jobs through expanding AmeriCorps, investing in summer jobs, and rebuilding our crumbling transportation system are just a few ways we can help unemployed Millennials and stimulate the economy,” said Anne Johnson, Executive Director of Generation Progress. “Creating jobs for Millennials will expand and strengthen the middle class, and ultimately ensure America’s long-term prosperity.”

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