Common Sense Concept reports:
Regardless of which candidate won Monday night’s debate, one thing is for certain: young American voters (18-39) emerged as winners. Young voters desperately want both politicians to focus on the economy, and this is exactly what the debaters did.
Youth unemployment is currently 18.4 percent – more than double the national rate. The numbers are even worse among some groups: unemployment is especially high in urban areas, and unemployment estimates for Black youths range from 17 to over 40 percent.
Accordingly, young Americans view the economy as the top issue. In a September 15, 2010 Rock the Vote survey, 96 percent of young Americans said they are concerned about the nation’s unemployment rate and 93 percent are concerned about the national debt.
No other issues commanded such universal worry. In another Rock the Vote survey – taken in August 2010 – 34 percent of young Americans rated “jobs and the economy” as the issue they “would most like for politicians to do something about,” and 20 percent rated it the second most important issue. This combined 54 percent made the issue by far the most important – the second place issue, education, totaled only 29 percent.
Nor does a bachelor’s degree insulate young Americans from economic woe and worry. Fox News reports that college unemployment rates rose 5.5 percent from 2005 to 2009, and things haven’t gotten any better since. Even when college graduates are able to find a job, it’s likely to be for a smaller salary than a commensurate skill set would have earned 5 years ago. According to The New York Times, “the average salary offered to graduates with a bachelor’s degree has slipped 1.7 percent from last year (2009), to $47,673 (in 2010).”