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Jobs big issue for younger set

May 18, 2012
The Leader Herald

President Barack Obama has been working overtime to convince young people they should vote for him in November. He has been making the rounds of college campuses talking about student loan rates and, most recently, hitting the campus hot-button issue of gay marriage.

It seems to be paying off. One recent public opinion poll indicated Obama's popularity rating among the 18-29 crowd is at 62 percent.

But what about the most critical issue facing young Americans - jobs? How is Obama doing there? The president probably would prefer college students and recent graduates not think about it.

Unemployment among those ages 20-24 in April stood at 13.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is nearly twice as high as the jobless rate for those 25 and over.

In the 18-19 category - the age at which millions of young men and women are getting out of high school and looking for jobs instead of campuses - the unemployment rate in April was 24.5 percent.

Obama's strategy of focusing on culture and social issues aims to distract young voters from questioning his performance on the economy. He has injected trillions of dollars in taxpayers' money into "stimulus" and "bailout" programs that have done little to nudge unemployment rates down.

The problem is particularly bad for the younger age group. The job market is the real issue for those young voters.



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