Young Workers: Hit Hard, Hitting Back

This is a Huffington Post piece by AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler.

As the newly elected secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, I traveled the country this fall, talking with workers and hearing their concerns. The economic crisis is causing a lot of pain. So many people have no jobs, no health care--and many are losing their homes. And as I looked into the faces of young workers, the reality hit home that these young people are part of the first generation in recent history likely to be worse off than their parents.

This is a tragedy.

The AFL-CIO and our community affiliate, Working America, recently surveyed young workers--and I'm not talking about 17- and 18-year-olds. I'm talking about 18- to 34-year-olds. In the past 10 years, young workers have suffered disproportionately from the downturn in the economy:


       
  • One in three young workers is worried about being able to find a job--let alone a full-time job with benefits.

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  • Only 31 percent make enough money to cover their bills and put some aside--that is 22 percentage points worse than it was 10 years ago.

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  • Nearly half worry about having more debt than they can handle.

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  • One in three still lives at home with parents.

There's more...

Tomorrow, Join Us for 'A Better Deal'

Tomorrow, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler will give the keynote address at the A Better Deal 2009 conference here in Washington, D.C.

The conference, which runs tomorrow and Friday, is hosted by Demos, an advocacy organization focused on building a fairer economy, and a variety of sponsor organizations focused on youth and the economy.

There's more...

Young America Wants Health Care Reform

As the AFL-CIO report, "Young Workers: A Lost Decade," recently found, some 31 percent of workers under age 35 have no health insurance--even if they have jobs. Millions more young workers have insufficient coverage. It's a dangerous situation, and too many young workers would be left bankrupt if hit by an accident or unexpected illness.

Ari A. Matusiak, founder of Young Invincibles, a health reform advocacy group, says in a new AFL-CIO Point of View guest column that these young workers need health care reform now, and that they need to join together to fight for it.

There's more...

Union Leader Says: Tell Young Workers the Truth

A recent report issued by the AFL-CIO revealed the scope of the economic crisis facing young people: rising unemployment and anxiety about their futures, inability to buy their own homes or even move out of their parents' houses and lack of basic health care and retirement security.

There's more...

'Young Workers: A Lost Decade'

Something bad happened in the past 10 years to young workers in this country: Since 1999, more of them now have lower-paying jobs, if they can get a job at all; health care is a rare luxury and retirement security is something for their parents, not them. In fact, many--younger than 35--still live at home with their parents because they can't afford to be on their own.

These are the findings of a new report, "Young Workers: A Lost Decade." Conducted in July 2009 by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the AFL-CIO and our community affiliate Working America, the nationwide survey of 1,156 people follows up on a similar survey the AFL-CIO conducted in 1999. The deterioration of young workers' economic situation in those 10 years is alarming.

There's more...

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