Bringing the Economy Home

Young Adults Face Big Hurdles

Boise State News / Boise State University

Boise State University Winter Commencement 2009

A recent study published by the progressive think tank Demos paints a bleak picture for 20-somethings in the U.S.  The report says almost all young people earn less than the previous generation at the same age.  Plus, in today’s world, a college education is becoming a standard requirement in order for 20-somethings to advance up the job ladder.

The Philadelphia Inquirer put it this way:

During a news conference announcing the report, Aaron Smith, executive director of the Young Invincibles — a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of millenials — praised young people, who, he said, strive to make a mark for themselves despite steep economic obstacles.

“The potential of this generation is great,” Smith said. “We’re serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re the most technologically savvy, diverse, and tolerant generation in history. And we continue to chase the American dream.”

Impeding that dream, however, are college tuition rates that have tripled in the last 30 years, along with increased rents, greater health-care costs, and crushing student-loan debt, he added.

A survey taken of Boise State University graduates who completed their education in 2009 and 2010 showed just 13 percent of new grads had jobs lined up.  Most surveyed, 52 percent, said they were looking for a job.

BSU Career Center Director Debbie Kaylor acknowledges the job market in Idaho is tough, but says there are jobs available.  About 80-percent of Boise State’s graduates stay in Idaho.  “Our students are willing to be underemployed in order to stay here,” Kaylor says.


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