With student loan repayment receiving much attention, the crux of the issue is joblessness. The long duration of a poor US economy with near zero job growth is continuing to take a deepening toll on young adults.
Faced with the highest joblessness since the end of World War II, young Americans are forced to deal with an increasingly limited number of opportunities for jobs and are delaying major financial and life decisions based on the economy – 27% say they will delay paying off student loans or other debt due to economic factors.
“The heart of the matter here is that young Americans need jobs in order to repay any debts, including student loans, and to plan for the future,” said Paul T. Conway, President of Generation Opportunity and a former Chief of Staff at the US Department of Labor. “The poor economy and a lack of jobs are the central reasons why millions of young Americans have delayed their dreams of buying a home, getting more education, saving for retirement, getting married, or starting a family. Millennials know that more rhetoric from elected leaders and new federal programs are no substitute for employment opportunities and simply having a job. Elected officials in both parties should put as much energy into allowing the private sector to create jobs for the next generation as they do preparing for the next election.”
Generation Opportunity commissioned a poll with the polling company, inc./WomanTrend (April 16 – 22, 2011, +/- 4% margin of error) and a highlighted result for all young Americans ages 18-29 appears below:
- 77% of young people ages 18-29 either have or will delay a major life change or purchase due to economic factors:
- 44% delay buying a home;
- 28% delay saving for retirement;
- 27% delay paying off student loans or other debt;
- 27% delay going back to school/getting more education or training;
- 26% delay changing jobs/cities;
- 23% delay starting a family;
- 18% delay getting married
Do you agree? Are you delaying your loan repayment? Tell us about it in the comments.