Younger Americans Feeling the Brunt of the Economic Struggle
12/27/2011 11:44 AM
I recently came across an article that brought up an interesting economic issue. The struggling economy affects everyone in one way or another; however it seems to have a more drastic effect on Americans under 35 rather than those over 65. Taking into account all of the points mentioned in the article, I’d have to say that I agree.
The housing market and the job market play a crucial role in how we fare in this economy. Before both took a downward spiral, those over 65 now more than likely already owned a home and had an established career. Now, instead of retiring, many are retaining their jobs after 65. Add to that the fact that many also had their mortgages already paid off by the time the crisis hit and you’re looking at a very different lifestyle than those under 35.
Many Americans under 35 are most likely just buying their first house and are finding themselves under water. Combine that with the cost of student loans and the lack of well-paying jobs, and we’re faced with a financially struggling generation. With the lack of job opportunities, many are going back to school to build their skill set in order to qualify for a better job that pays more, however they are still faced with the problem that many companies are not hiring. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said that “it's always going to hit younger people harder because they're the ones entering the labor force. If employers have a choice to hire someone or lay someone off, it's easier just not to hire." Until the job market drastically improves and companies are able to hire skilled workers and pay enough to accommodate the cost of living, those under 35 will continue to struggle.
Most of us grew up being told “you can be anything you want to be” and while I still believe that with hard work and determination this adage still holds true, how many opportunities just aren’t available for the next generation? How can we, as small business owners, contribute to the growth of the economy? Are we able to create enough jobs to make a substantial impact on the failing job market? My thoughts: let’s focus on creating one job at a time. For every person that gets back to work, that’s one less person on unemployment, possibly one less house foreclosure, one more person that can put money back into the economy. It’s a domino effect; all it takes is one push to make a difference.