Thanks, Obama! Bad Economy Falls Disproportionately on Generation O Voters

October 20, 2011

Yet another resumé arrived in my email box this week, from a young man who graduated with a BA in economics and a minor in math last May, and has yet to find a job. He’s a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania, with summer job experience as an engineering technician at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.

Unable to find a job in an economy with persistently high unemployment because of weak job growth, Anthony Lewis is now looking for an unpaid internship. As a new entrant to the labor force he doesn’t get unemployment insurance. He’s just looking for a job.

Anthony is not alone. The unemployment rate in 2010 for newly graduated men and women with bachelor degrees was 9.2 percent, far higher than the 5.1 percent rate such adults experienced in 2005.

This is Generation O: the age cohort that contributed, registered, volunteered and voted for Barack Obama with greater intensity than we have seen since at least the 1960 presidential election.

Since then, the effect of President Obama’s failed economic policies has fallen most disproportionately on them.

The unemployment rates among Generation O not only suggest personal disappointment, but also large and lasting implications for them and for society.