Our View: . . . Or genuine job opportunity?

Posted: June 11, 2014

No age group has been hit harder by this prolonged spate of near-stagnant growth — an anemic 1.7 percent over the last eight quarters — than the Millennials. The labor statistics for young adults are, in a word, grim. To wit:

 16- to 19-year-olds — The last five months on record (January to May) have witnessed three of the lowest percentages of teenagers either working or looking for work since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started compiling such data in 1948.

 20- to 24-year-olds — The situation is similarly distressing as the BLS, over the last two years, has registered some of the worst labor participation rates for this grouping since the end of the Vietnam war. The rate has been been mired in the 70 percent range over this time period.

 25- to 29-year-olds — Since the beginning of this year, seasonally unadjusted labor data show all five months with labor participation rates hovering in the bottom four ever recorded for this age group (January, February, and March tied for fourth worst).

These trends are dismal, and are rendered even more so by President Obama’s supposed antidotes — for instance, a higher minimum wage that would provide succor for those already with jobs but result in a diminished number of employment opportunities for those seeking work, particularly those in these affected age groupings.