The unemployment number for April came in lower than expected, bringing wide relief and sending stock index futures through the roof . Many young Americans, though, have not experienced much benefit from the recovery.
While the unemployment rate fell to 7.5 percent in April, a five-year low, unemployment among 18-29 year olds remained at 11.1 percent. Adjusting for labor participation and those who have given up looking for work, the effective rate is 16.1 percent.
“It is a rough time to be a young person in America,” Evan Feinberg, president of Generation Opportunity, a youth-based grassroots group, said in a statement.
The number calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t include 1.7 million young Americans because these individuals have given up looking for work due to lack of jobs and therefore don’t qualify as “unemployed.” With nearly 2 million new college graduates entering the job market this spring, concern for the millennial generation’s standard of living abounds.
“[T]here is no sign of an economic recovery for my generation,” Feinberg said.
“Half of all graduating seniors aren’t going to find meaningful work in the coming months. And it isn’t like politicians care …Reckless policies coming from Washington continue to prevent the next generation from prospering,” he added.
The economy added 165,000 jobs in April, more than the expected 140,000. Last month’s unemployment, which was originally weak, was revised upwards.
“This is just one report, but it’s a huge relief, given the apparent weakening in data lately,” Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider writes.
Certain industries also saw an uptick in job growth last month.
“Within leisure and hospitality, employment in food services and drinking places rose by 38,000 over the month,” the BLS report said, a sign that the consumer spending is not slowing down. Retail also saw 29,000 jobs created last month.
Still, the unemployment data does not suggest overall economic strengthening.
“I don’t think today’s data is strong enough to completely offset some of the weakness we have seen in some other areas, such as overall manufacturing activity and the general pace of economic growth, so I think the Fed will remain fully engaged,” Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Services in Troy, Michigan, told Reuters.
New orders in manufacturing have been down two of the last three months, according to the Census Bureau.
“For the good of the American people, we must find a way to strengthen this economy and unleash robust economic growth – not simply growth that beats low expectations,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, said in a statement.
Camp, who has vigorously been pursing tax reform in Congress, believes a more simplified tax code is crucial to a more robust economic recovery.
“Tax reform that cleans up the tax code and closes wasteful loopholes and lowers tax rates will help both families and employers. Instead of spending time and money trying to comply with the tax code, families will have more control over their lives and employers will have more opportunities to create more jobs and provide higher wages for American workers,” he said in a statement.
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