Report: 70 million born between 1980 and 2000 in big trouble

The Center for American Progress released a new report this week, Middle-Out for Millennials, on how America’s economy is failing young workers. The report, by Sarah Ayres, provides a sobering assessment of the obstacles facing the most recent generations to join the workforce.

Ayres writes, “The generation of young people born between roughly 1980 and 2000-an estimated 70 million individuals-is facing double-digit unemployment rates, low wages, mounting college costs, and crippling student-loan debt.

When previous generations were between the ages of 18 and 33, they knew that by working hard and playing by the rules they could eventually achieve a good middle-class life, which meant owning a home, supporting a family, paying for their children’s college education, saving for retirement and even taking a vacation now and then. But for the many Millennials today who are struggling to get by, the dream of a middle-class life is increasingly out of reach.”

In the report, Ayres proceeds to diagnose many of the causes responsible for America’s changing economy, and she provides six key economic challenges that our country must overcome to ensure Millennials have the same opportunities to secure a life in the middle class as the generations who came before. They include:

  1. Creating jobs for young people.

  2. Promoting good jobs.

  3. Making college affordable.

  4. Easing the burden of student-debt repayment.

  5. Expanding access to postsecondary education and training.

  6. Improving retirement security.

Ayres’ report and her recommendations deserve serious thought and discussion for if our nation is to remain an economic force, it must have a vibrant middle class and a thriving American Dream.

Photo: Butch Dill/AP