Barack Obama from the White House, August 7, 2009
In 2008, Obama inspired legions of young Americans who bought into his "Change you can believe in" campaign message. According to the Pew Research Center, voters under the age of 30 supported Obama over John McCain 66:31 – by far the largest disparity between young voters and other age groups in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972. In addition to the critical vote totals, Obama attracted thousands of high energy campaign volunteers that brought unbridled enthusiasm to his campaign of Hope-and-Change.
Sadly, three years later, it is more like Hopeless Change that millions of young Americans face. In exchange for that 2:1 vote of confidence they gave Obama in 2008, the 18-29 year-olds are feeling the brunt of the economic stagnation – often by twice the degree of all other age groups. According to the Wall Street Journal, "The U.S. labor market is in a malaise, but young adults are in crisis."
Maybe you hadn't noticed, but the recession supposedly ended almost three years ago. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER, the economic downturn that began in December 2007, lasted 18 months and officially ended in June, 2009. NBER defines a recession is a period of falling economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. Economists declare the end of a recession when the declining trend is reversed.