President Obama launched a three-state tour today aimed at “recapturing” the support of young Americans “who have grown skeptical of his administration.” The president’s task is a “daunting” one, as the college students he is speaking to this week have been hit hard by his failed policies that have made the economy worse. Here’s a snapshot of the headwinds young college students are facing in the Obama economy:
- 53.6%: Unemployed or Underemployed Bachelor’s Degree Holders. “About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years.” (The Associated Press, 4/23/12)
- 25.1%: Increase in College Tuition & Fees at Public Four-Year Institutions Over the Past Three Years. Published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions averaged $8,244 in 2011-12, $7,613 in 2010-11, $7,050 in 2009-2010 and $6,591 in 2008-2009. (The College Board’s “Trends in College Pricing”)
- 13.2%: Unemployment Rate Amongst 20-24 Year Olds. “According to the March jobs report, the unemployment rate for those between the ages 20-24 is a sky-high 13.2 percent, versus the national rate of 8.2 percent.” (The Chicago Tribune, 4/18/12)
- 85%: New College Graduates Moving Back in with Their Parents. “Thanks to a high unemployment rate for new grads, many of those with diplomas fresh off the press are making a return to Mom and Dad’s place. In fact, according to a poll conducted by consulting firm Twentysomething Inc., some 85% of graduates will soon remember what Mom’s cooking tastes like.” (Time, 5/10/11)
- 10%: Decrease in Starting Salary of College Graduates Today vs. 2006 & 2007. “The median starting salary of students graduating in 2009 and 2010 was 10% lower than the salary received by those who entered the workforce in 2006 and 2007. College educated women continue to earn less than college educated men.” (John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, “Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy,” 5/18/11)
President Obama has added more than $5 trillion in red ink to the nation’s balance sheet with the promise that his ‘stimulus’ spending spree would keep the unemployment rate below eight percent and help get the economy back on track. Young Americans are paying the price for the ‘stimulus’ failure as they embark on frustrating - and all-too-often fruitless - job searches, and will continue to do so with higher taxes, fewer jobs and less economic growth down the road.
As Speaker Boehner said last week: President Obama “has spent the last six months campaigning from one end of the country to the other, instead of working with members of both political parties here in Washington to address the serious challenges that our country faces.” College students, families struggling with high gas and grocery prices, and small businesses barely keeping afloat cannot afford for the president to keep shrinking from his responsibility to address the major challenges facing the nation. Republicans will continue to lead where the president had failed with the Plan for America’s Job Creators & House-passed Path to Prosperity budget. It is up to President Obama and Senate Democrats to support Republican efforts, or offer a serious plan of their own.