Friday, December 15, 2006

America's Young Adults Face Serious Economic Challenges

[13 December 2006 - Demos - US] 18-34 Year Olds Confronted with New Financial Obstacles Not Experienced by Previous Generation ... Today's young adults are feeling the full, deep impact of a massive shift in the US economy, and are no longer able to start and sustain a family, build a career and grow assets in the same manner as the previous generation, according to a new report series published today by Demos, a national, nonpartisan public policy center. The new five-part "Young Adult Economics Series" shows that America's young people are feeling the full effect of a 30-year shift from an industrial to technology- and service-based U.S. economy. The series shows that the combination of stagnant wage growth, growing debt, and high costs of education, homeownership and healthcare are new realities. These are now common factors that challenge the ability of America's 20-and 30-somethings to start, and sustain, an economically stable adult life. "Young people today are being hit by a one-two economic punch," said Tamara Draut, director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos and author of the series as well as a book entitled "Strapped: Why America's 20-and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead". "For the young generation of workers, the economy no longer generates widespread opportunity and security, and our public policies haven't evolved to pick up any of the slack. In fact, many of the problems we see today are a direct result of a disinvestment in the policy investments meant to ensure that the opportunity ladder is firmly in place." "This research shows that, unless we address these problems--and we can--this will likely be the first generation to not surpass the living standards of their parents." The series provides a comprehensive portrait of the economic status of today's young adults--and offers policy solutions that Congress and state legislatures can act on. More

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