Are Young Adults Dropping out of the U.S. Workforce?

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics came out Tuesday with projections about what the U.S. workforce will look like a decade from now. Some of the predictions auger good news: The workforce will be increasingly diverse, BLS says. On the other hand, it looks like the workforce will continue to age, and not just because people are living and working longer:

The labor force participation rate for youth (ages 16 to 24) is projected to decrease from 55.0 percent in 2014 to 49.7 percent in 2024. The youth age group is projected to make up 11.3 percent of the civilian labor force in 2024 as compared with 13.7 percent in 2014. In contrast, the labor force participation rate for the 65-and-older age group is projected to increase from 18.6 percent in 2014 to 21.7 percent in 2024. This older age group is projected to represent 8.2 percent of the civilian labor force in 2024 as compared with 5.4 percent in 2014.

Read the full report here.

  • Commish of hangin’

    It’s pretty easy to see why youth employment stands to drop so drastically: the current employment environment is overtly hostile to young prospective employees. If you didn’t get that internship in college that gave you the one to two years of experience necessary for an entry-level position- a paradox if there ever was one- you’re SOL. It goes without saying that this pipeline favors the already well-off, because they have the time and money to take these positions that, by and large, are unpaid. And most college students have no idea what they want to do after they graduate (I know I didn’t), putting them in an even tighter bind. The result is that other generations have to pick up the slack when they should be enjoying retirement.

    The younger generation is set up to be a permanent underclass.