No Money, More Problems: Why It’s Harder For Young Blacks To Reach Financial Independence

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October 3, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown

Being young just isn’t fun any more, at least when it comes to job prospects. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, while 54 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 currently have jobs, its the lowest employment rate for this age group since the government began keeping track in 1948. “And it’s a sharp drop from the 62 percent who had jobs in 2007 — suggesting the recession is crippling career prospects for a broad swath of young people who were still in high school or college when the downturn began,” reports The Huffington Post.

And now a new report shows that things are faring even worse for the so-called “Lost Generation.” A report released Monday by the Georgetown University Center on Education, shows that financial independence is now harder for this group to attain, especially for young African Americans. While three groups — young men, high school graduates and African Americans — continue to bear the brunt of The Great Recession’s limiting access to jobs, experts say financial independence is taking longer to attain for young adults across the board reports the HuffPo.

The report, “Failure To Launch: Structural Shift and the New Lost Generation,” found that over the past 30 years, the age at which young workers reach financial independence, the median wage, has risen from age 26 to age 30. For young African Americans, the age has increased to 33.

Between 2000 and 2012, the employment rate for young workers dropped from 84 percent to 72 percent, with black Gen-Yers  reaching a peak post-recession unemployment rate of 30 percent, twice as high as that of young whites.

But beyond race, the analysis looked at other possible causes for the lack of employment for young job hunters. Researchers also examined whether older workers’ tendency to stay in the workforce longer is what’s keeping the younger generation’s financial freedom at bay. “But despite the fact that sixty-two percent of women 55 and older were employed in 2010, compared to 42 percent in 1987, the report concluded that it isn’t older workers who are crowding younger ones out,” reports the HuffPo.  Actually, the data pointed to an “imbalance in resources” between young and old (resources like Social Security and Medicare) as a more likely cause.

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  • Guest

    Are we surprised?