Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day: Celebrating the Past, Preparing for the Future

From: AFL-CIO <>
To: "susan sheary" <>
Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 1:52 PM
Subject: Labor Day: Celebrating the Past, Preparing for the Future

This Labor Day weekend, we are taking a moment to reflect on the
future of America's working men of women. Young workers today
have lower-paying jobs than they did 10 years ago--those able to
find jobs at all. Health care is a luxury, and retirement
security is something for their parents, not them.
In fact, 34 percent of workers younger than 35 still live at
home with their parents. Low-income young workers are as likely
to live with parents as on their own.

A new report by the AFL-CIO and Working America, "Young Workers:
A Lost Decade," finds that the economic meltdown over the past
decade has handicapped young workers' ability to transition into
adulthood and financial independence.
"After getting married, my wife and I decided to move in with my
parents to pay off our bills. We could afford to live on our
own, but we'd never be able to get out of debt. We have school
loans to pay off, too. We'd like to have children, but we just
can't manage the expense of it right we're putting it
off till we're in a better place." --Nate Scherer, 31, lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he shares a
home with his wife, his parents and his brother.

The situation facing young workers like Nate is far worse than
it was 10 years ago and is cause for alarm.
What do you think it means for our future? Read more about the
report on our blog and share your thoughts.

Read the full report:

Here are just a few of the report's disturbing findings:

* 31 percent of young workers report being uninsured, up from 24
percent 10 years ago, and 79 percent of the uninsured say they
don't have coverage because they can't afford it or their
employer does not offer it.
* Only 31 percent say they make enough money to cover their
bills and put some money aside--22 percentage points fewer than
in 1999.
* Seven in 10 do not have enough saved to cover two months of
living expenses--a real danger when so many jobs are

The future of our country depends on the prosperity of each
generation, and while the magnitude of the problems is huge, so
are the opportunities. Young workers remain full of hope and
want to be involved. As a movement, we must engage proactively
with this generation.

"Young workers in particular must be given the tools to lead the
next generation to prosperity. Our national survey shows just
how broken our economy is for our young people--and what's at
stake if we don't fix it." --AFL-CIO President John Sweeney

As we look to the future this Labor Day, let's all think about
what we can do to make our economy work better for the next
generation. Keep in mind that one exciting result of our survey
is that not only do young people want to be involved, their
priorities are even more progressive than the older generation
of workers.
Join us on our blog all weekend for Labor Day stories and
opportunities to connect:

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Together, we can make a difference.
Marc Laitin
AFL-CIO Online Mobilization Coordinator

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