My Opinion on Youth Unemployment

One thing that I have no trouble with is expressing my opinion and I have a lot of them.  Today, because in the blog challenge our assignment is to write an opinion piece, I’m going to give my opinion on the job situation in the United States as it relates to youth.


I have a rule not to discuss politics in public too often as it usually has no bearing on my work.  Except that the current lack of employment for our youth weighed very heavily in my decision to change my business to focus on empowering teens and young adults to develop an entrepreneur mindset.

People are screaming at President Obama that he hasn’t created many jobs since being in office.  However, in the first quarter after the stimulus bill that he signed, the number of new jobs created was the highest it’s been in 30 years?  It’s just that so many jobs were lost during the eight years before he took office that it was impossible to create enough new jobs.

Also since he took office, the rate of the jobs lost has slowed so while jobs aren’t being created in large enough numbers, a lot of jobs have been saved and that’s something to be happy about.

And now with the worst congress we’ve had in my lifetime, the situation is worse and apparently, we might be headed for an even bigger recession.  Some on the right try to blame the high rate of youth unemployment on the Democrats for raising the minimum wage, however that is ridiculous.  The minimum wage has been raised periodically to help people as the cost of living rises.   If I were into assigning blame, I’d say the congress blocking all efforts to move forward to repair the economy in the name of politics is at fault.

When there are so many people out of work, we have folks with college degrees and a lot of experience vying for the same job that would normally be held by a young person.  That doesn’t bode well for our teens and young adults when it comes to being employed.

With that said, I believe that the only way many of our youth are going to be able to make a living is to create their own jobs.  This requires a mindset that will be a challenge to develop in some cases.  For whatever reason, we have a generation of children that are more hyper, have shorter attention spans and are easily distracted.  Often they have can’t hold a job once they find one for a variety of reasons.

We need to find a solution to this major issue of our time or we’re going to have a large portion of young adults unemployed, on social welfare and eventually, living with their parents, who in some cases aren’t much better off, or homeless.

It is incumbent upon us to encourage and support our children in developing an entrepreneur mindset as well as help them find the skills they need for marketing and doing business in the digital age if they are to have any hope of being financially self-sufficient.  The mindset is so important that I just wrote an ebook to help parents and others who work with teens and young adults to help them start thinking like an entrepreneur.  The book, Powerful Lessons Empowering Teens and Young Adults to Develop an Entrepreneur Mindset, will be on sale September 1.

What are you doing to help your children develop an entrepreneur mindset and prepare for the future?



About the Author

Debbie - August 24, 2012

I have been trying to help my kids have an entrepreneurial mind set since my oldest kids were 8 to 9 years old. I have never liked working for others. One reason being now they do not give your full time work and they can let you go when ever they want to. 4 of my 9 kids have this entrepreneurial mind set. Now they are working jobs and starting their own businesses.
Debbie recently posted…Today’s blog challenge is to voice your opinion on something.My Profile

    Julia - August 24, 2012

    Good for you for giving your kids a head start. You must have your hands full with nine of them. Maybe the four that are starting their own business will be good role models and inspirations for their other siblings. Or maybe they’ll be so successful that they will hire the ones that don’t become self employed.

    Thank you for leaving your comment.

Ruth - August 24, 2012

I love your post and having the guts to state the truth. You have no idea how I want to speak out but tend not to in these matters. What I am doing is I have started a tutoring business for children Grades 3 – 8 (but getting more requests for High School students than had anticipated)where I work to help them improve their skills in organization for example and create a plan to help parents put their children on the road to college as early as possible. In many homes the college road isn’t clear and the expectation not set which in the end render the teenagers jobless even when there are jobs.

    Julia - August 24, 2012

    Thank you for your comment and support Ruth, I very much appreciate that. I love what you are doing. Parents need all the help they can get. My foster youth have so many benefits to help them get into college, however, so many of them lack the academic and social skills to be in college. Isn’t that irony – they have access to financial resources that other youth might not, but they lack what it takes.

    Best of luck with what you do. If there is anything I can ever do to support you, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Alan Miles - August 24, 2012

Julia – you know I’m with you. But I’m not convinced that politicians will ever do much to solve the problem. Their interests are short-term – getting elected next time. What we’re facing is a long-term issue: the fact that the nature of work is changing.

Almost a century ago, Henry Ford invented the factory line – and millions of people worked in them. They weren’t necessarily fulfilling jobs, but they were jobs nonetheless. Most of those will be swept away with technology in the next 10-20 years, I’d guess.

In a way, that’s what makes it exciting. Like Ford (a businessman not a politician, note), we need to re-invent work, discover new kinds of businesses. And just as you’re doing, help young people to come to terms with new ways of making a living.
Alan Miles recently posted…Dazzled by Zazzle?My Profile

    Julia - August 24, 2012

    I do agree with you Alan. I don’t think politicians know what to do or how to do it. They are all useless on both sides and I wish we could replace them with mothers. Then something would get done.

    Yes, changes in technology will bring many changes, however, they really could bring back some jobs that our youth could have like tech support via the telephone. Do you know how much I dislike have to deal with tech support from India or Pakistan? I don’t understand most of what they say and I end up hanging up in frustration. So while they can’t do much about somethings, they can do more about others. None of them have any courage or integrity anymore.

    In the United States at least, it’s become about voting for the lessor of the evils. But as 2000 taught us, it doesn’t really matter whether you win or not, it is about who can steal the election.

    This is what has motivated me to do what I do Alan. Thank you for your support.

Chef William - August 26, 2012

Julia, You are 100 percent correct in that The problems with this country did not start 4 years ago. I believe that the blame can be placed directly on Congress and not on President Obama. If we are to be examples of good work ethic’s, God forbid if our youth look to the present congress for their examples. We do need to help them develop and entrepreneur mindset so that they will be able to support themselves and their families without waiting for the government to “turn the economy around” I’m looking forward to reading your book.
Chef William recently posted…Weight Loss Snack Food – Brussels SproutsMy Profile

    Julia - August 26, 2012

    Thank you Chef William, I appreciate your comments and your support. There are no words for this congress that can be spoken out loud. For the first time in my life, I am truly anxious about the future for our youth. The book is my attempt to get people to start thinking about helping our children take responsibility for their economic self-sufficiency.

Annie - August 27, 2012

Great post! I just started reading The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, which is a great resource for getting over barriers in starting your own microbusiness. I think this book could work well for young adults, too.

    Julia - August 27, 2012

    Thank you stopping by and commenting Annie. I’m not familiar with the book you mentioned, I’ll look it up.

Nicki Sanders - September 21, 2012

Julia, this post is so important (and TRUE). Our young people have so much potential and we must help them develop and nurture it. I encourage self-discovery and entrepreneurship in my daughter and the many youth I support in my work.

    Julia - September 21, 2012

    Thank you for your comments Nicki. We have to find a realistic way to address this very real challenge or the view of the future is not so great and I find that unacceptable.

Comments are closed