This pdf describes the situation for youth in the United States. Really nothing new about that.
(1) CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGH A YOUTH JOBS CORPS.
I cannot pretend to be impressed by these recommendations.
A policy agenda that gives young people a fair shot in the
economy requires investment in labor force opportunities for those populations that the market has failed. Accordingly, a direct public sector jobs
program would put millions to work immediately, instead of waiting another
decade for the labor market to recover. But while improved opportunities are
important for all unemployed Americans, the specific experience of young
people demands a program tailored to their needs, especially for those most
likely to be passed-over for opportunities: African Americans, Hispanics, and
people without a college degree. A youth jobs corps targeted toward these
populations should be part of a large-scale direct employment program.
A targeted jobs program would address the needs of those populations
with the highest unemployment rates by creating employment opportunities
in the communities where they live. This design has the potential to provide
for essential services in areas where unmet needs are greatest, contributing
to lasting improvements in the quality of life. Projects would include a range
of construction, maintenance, and service work, including: construction on
abandoned or sub-standard housing, conservation measures, the construction of new affordable housing units, the improvement of existing public
parks, the construction of new parks, and the beautification and maintenance of indoor and outdoor public spaces. The program also could expand
and improve the quality of public services in areas such as health care, child
care, education, recreation, elder care, and cultural enrichment.
A public jobs program also produces the most bang for the buck, generating more jobs per public dollar than alternative types of public spending.7 As
workers go out and spend their new incomes, the effects of the public investment multiply, becoming new income to businesses and generating private
sector job growth for a sustained recovery. As income circulates through the
economy, public savings on other programs like unemployment insurance,
Medicaid, and CHIP, combine with new revenues to offset the initial costs.
According to a 2011 Dēmos analysis, a $47 billion initial investment directly creates 1 million new jobs and indirectly introduces more than 414,000
more.8 About $18 billion in savings counterbalance that first-round price
tag, leading to a net cost of $29.2 billion for every 1.4 million new jobs. At
that rate, filling the four million job deficit for young adults will require a net
investment of $85 billion in direct and indirect job creation during the first
(2) RAISE THE FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE.
The sectors where young people
are most likely to find employment are also those most likely to pay the
minimum wage. In 2012 accommodation and food services, retail, and health
care and social assistance employed the greatest shares of young people and
the greatest shares of minimum wage workers. Projections for employment
growth dominated by low-wage occupations reveal that these jobs are not
merely way stations for workers on the road to a better career, but rather
compose a significant portion of the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, conditions
of widespread joblessness put downward pressure on earnings and result in
even college-educated workers taking on low-pay positions just to get by.
With the high and rising costs of living, minimum wage jobs are not enough
to allow young people to strive for a better life. Low wages keep young adults
from making the critical investments in their futures that promote long-term
stability and economic success.
After a decade of stagnation, federal legislation raised the minimum wage
to $7.25 in 2009—still well below its historical peak. Today, that is worth just
over two-thirds of the real value of the minimum paid in 1968. Every year that
passes without an adjustment allows the purchasing power of the minimum
wage to diminish, leading to greater income inequality and eroding standards
of living for workers at the bottom. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013,
proposed in the House and Senate in March, would incrementally increase
the minimum to $10.10 over three years, and then index the value to increase
with the cost of living thereafter.9 Passing the Act would raise income for the
lowest-paid workers by as much as $5,000 per year, putting money in the
pockets of those who are most likely to spend, giving a much-needed boost
to consumer demand, and generating new economic growth. It would also
raise the standard of living for the 2.5 million minimum wage workers under
35 today, and provide a foothold as they plan for their futures.10
(3) GIVE YOUNG PEOPLE A SAY IN THE ECONOMY BY STRENGTHENING
THEIR VOICE IN THE WORKPLACE.
Declining wages, reduced benefits,
and job insecurity are trends that began long before the Great Recession.
They are the legacy of a generation of policies that undermined the ability
of workers to advocate for improved conditions and fair compensation and
led to declining standards of living for the working class. As a result, young
adults have inherited a labor market where unforeseeable shocks can disrupt
their livelihood for years into the future. Restoring the rights of workers for
unionization and collective bargaining has the potential to reverse that trend.
Union workers are much more likely than non-union workers to have access
to health plans, retirement benefits, and paid sick leave.11 These protections
provide stability in the face of economic slumps and family emergencies, and
make it possible for young workers to plan for their futures even in times
of uncertainty. Incorporating the voice of labor in critical workplace decisions can prevent another generation from enduring backsliding standards
of living. This safeguard is especially important for young adults today, since
the mere timing of labor market entry during a recession can lead to decades
of diminished earnings and missed opportunities.
The report itself describes the state of employment ... or unemployment for the youth (of the United States) but in reality it is similar for youth around the world. This description is quite sound, but the whole question of systemic analysis is missing. What is it that has caused the unemployment, and if we know the cause, then maybe something can be fixed.
Because there is no system analysis, the recommendations are really nothing more than a repeat of things that have been tried in the past with more of less success. This report could have been written in the 1930s and it would not have been out of place ... but it is now the 21st century and the world is very different.
I see the problem as being the way the modern economy works. Philosophers have predicted this in the past, and it has come to pass. Every major decisions is about what I refer to as the terrible trio the dominant metrics:
The recommendation to create a jobs program begs the question of where does the funding come from, and assumes that the 'government' can come up with the money. But government cannot do this unless the government is allowed to be a bank or credit creator ... not something that is particularly desirable
There are big possibilities. We could: