Economics, Culture Tax & Budget, Children & Family
September 9th, 2015 1 Minute Read Testimony by Jared Meyer

Testimony by Jared Meyer to House Budget Committee

The Unprecedented Debt Burdens Facing Millennials

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released last week, young people ages 20 to 24 face an unemployment rate of over 9 percent. More than six years into economic recovery, many millennials are asking, “What recovery?”

On top of unemployment, the labor force participation rate for young people is 72 percent. This is the similar to levels seen in the early 1970s, before the widespread movement of women into the workforce, and down from 78 percent, a level which was seen as recently as 2001.

This slow labor market “recovery” for young people is especially problematic given that millennials are facing two separate, unprecedented financial burdens. The first, student loan debt, was a burden that young people chose to incur, though increasing debt levels have been driven by poor federal policies. The second type of financial burden, unfunded health and retirement programs, was never voted on or approved by the young, yet they are still liable for the countless unfunded promises made by past policymakers.



Are you interested in supporting the Manhattan Institute’s public-interest research and journalism? As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations in support of MI and its scholars’ work are fully tax-deductible as provided by law (EIN #13-2912529).