The State of Young America: Jobs & the Economy

A few months ago members of APALA DC participated with Young Invincibles for a report about how the economy has affected youth. Today, Young Invincibles and Demos released a report called, “State of Young America” (SOYA). SOYA provides a comprehensive look at both the economic challenges facing young adults since the Great Recession, and longer-term trends that have been going on for decades. The report combines important facts comparing our generation to our parents’, polling results, and stories from young people around the country.

The report’s first chapter, Jobs and the Economy, explores how long-term trends and the current tumultuous economic environment has taken a toll on young Americans’ employment prospects, paychecks, and ultimately their earnings for years to come. Unemployment and underemployment rates for young Americans remain dangerously high, and almost 60 percent of employed young people say they would like to work more hours. At the same time, there is also a clear wage pay gap, gender pay gap, and education pay gap. Here are some more stats that speak to the growing inequality and declining wages that our generation confronts:

Pay Gap by Race:
The racial pay gap is evident among young workers with the widest gap between young Latino and white
• Median earnings for young full-time
workers are highest among Asian
Americans at $43,500, followed by whites
at $40,000 (Figure 1.2).

• The racial pay gap is evident among young
workers, with African Americans earning
only 75 cents for every dollar earned by
young whites, while Latinos earn only 68
cents for every dollar earned by young

Unemployment Rate

To read the full report, click here

“Despite the encouraging figures associated with young workers in the Asian American category, it is important to remember the unique struggles they continue to face”, said Katrina Dizon, APALA-DC President. “Discrimination and lack of immigration status for example, are a few obstacles that many young APIs face on a daily basis. Factors like these are usually more challenging to quantify and that is why it was important for APALA to participate in this study and articulate them on behalf of the community.”


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