mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Will 20% under-25 unemployment have serious consequences?

I was killing time in a coffee shop yesterday and thumbing through the Bloomberg News app on my iPhone when I stumbled on this article about unemployment among recent college grads. There was one thing that jumped out at me - Unemployment among people under 25 years old was 19.6 percent in April, the highest level since the Labor Department began tracking the data in 1948.

So almost 1 in 5 people under 25 are unemployed - and that presumably doesn't count those that are underemployed, like the engineer working as a banquet waiter profiled at the beginning of the article.

I think this is going to have vast and rippling effects on the economy. People in their early 20's are at the age where they start thinking about things like marriage, having kids, buying houses. People who are unemployed or barely employed tend to put those things off. Which makes me wonder if population rates are going to go down, if marriage rates are going down, if home sales will continue to be awful - because people will put those things off until they feel financially stable, and people won't feel financially stable for a long time.

It also is going to have implications for companies in the long term - if they aren't hiring and training new workers, they aren't going to have people to move up the chain when older workers retire. Many jobs require a fair amount of institutional knowledge, of on-the-job experience - and without new blood, there aren't people with those things to move up into management roles.

I also wonder what the effect will be on the market for things like new tech products - typically people in the under-25 group are the early adopters of new gadgets - but that takes money. I wonder how many inventions that would have caught on won't because their target audience can't afford them. I wonder how many more iPads would have been sold if 20% of people under 25 were't unemployed.

This is the first time I've seen the statistic, and I'm kind of surprised it hasn't gotten more press - it seems like it has pretty serious implications for the future of our country.


At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Dave said...

"I wonder how many more iPads would have been sold if 20% of people under 25 were't unemployed"

At the current price of an ipad, not that many more if they're on the minimum wage!

At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Dropshippers said...

Scary statistic, I'm from the UK and can tell you that things are not much better here. I wouldn't like to be a student looking for work these days.


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