March is traditionally known as the month when spring starts, flowers begin to bloom, and the weather turns warmer. But it also marks yet another month in which my generation continues to suffer from record high unemployment.
Sadly, 11.7% of young people ages 18-29 were unemployed in March, with another 1.7 million quitting the workforce altogether. Combining those who have given up looking for a job with those still unemployed, the more accurate unemployment rate for young people is 16.2%.
Why are young people suffering so much in this poor economy? The most innovative and creative generation in history is being stifled by government policies that deny us access to meaningful work.
Last month, the Federal Reserve released its "Beige Book" that revealed that employers across the country are citing uncertainty surrounding Obamacare regulations as the reason for not only laying off workers, but also as a reason to not hire more staff. Regulations, I might add, that now stand at more than 7 feet tall when stacked on top of one another. And there are more to come as the president's Health and Human Services Department is still writing more regulations.
Sure, there are some businesses hiring young people. But these regulations often make it unaffordable for employers to hire them full-time. Half of recent college graduates can't find full-time work, while only 30% of 18-29 year olds view their job as part of their career. No wonder more than a third of our peers have had to move back in with their parents.
It is not just President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services that is strangling businesses with more regulations. Rules from his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are forcing many coal plants to close, which, in turn, are forcing plants to reduce staff. Fewer coal plants means less electrical production and higher energy costs that further handicap businesses already struggling to grow.
Additional regulations proposed by EPA could slow down the development of future energy exploration and the creation of more jobs, further hindering the energy sector, which is one of the bright spots in the current economy.
Then there is Keystone XL pipeline – estimated to create thousands of much-needed American jobs. If President Obama were serious about job creation, he could have approved the project last year, or two years ago, and won the accolades of 70% of Americans who support construction of the pipeline. Instead, he has twiddled his thumbs and has failed to give government approval to an actual shovel-ready project.
However, to make matters worse, small businesses are not expecting the economy to get any better in the next six months. According to a survey of businesses across the country by the National Federation of Independent Business, expectations for the economy are near a 40-year-low. Why? Uncertainty caused by Obamacare, higher taxes, regulations, and high levels of government spending.
Now some people may try and blame this month's lackluster jobs report on sequestration – the automatic cuts in government spending that went into effect last month. However, when you dive into the numbers, you find that the government actually added 9,000 jobs if you don't count Postal Service cuts that were set to happen regardless of sequestration. The problem is too much government, not too little.
At the end of the day, March's Millennial Jobs Report represents another lost month for our generation. One out of every 6 young adults is out of work. It's time for President Obama to address the lack of jobs for young people by removing regulations and taxes that are screwing over my generation. We're educated, highly skilled, and ready to work. We just need leaders in Washington willing to address this crisis.