This node is part of the 13 challenges for the 13th generation.

Our generation faces the biggest job shortage since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

As a first step to providing more permanent, full-time, high-paying jobs, we should increase our national investment in education, training, technology and infra-structure, and provide younger Americans more opportunities to develop critical work-force skills.

The good news: Since the beginning of 1993, America’s recovery has generated over 2.5 million jobs. The bad news: Many of these new jobs are part-time or temporary positions, mostly in the service industry – a step to building a life-time career selling clothes at the mall. Over half of all workers under 25 are paid hourly wages –which means no social benefits- and have earnings below the poverty line. Minimum wage has 26 percent less purchasing power today than it did in 1970.

We will need to adopt polices that will restore strong growth in the private economy, jump-start job creation and begin to close our national “investment gasp”. To undertake this effort, the United States should:

  • Guarantee ever young person the opportunity to enhance his or her skills through apprenticeship tracks in high schools, and provide college assistance for anyone willing to do national service.
  • Ensure access to retraining for jobless people and for displaced and low-wage workers.
  • Increase investment in basic research, infrastructure, and worker training – three areas that will be underfunded without the help from Uncle Sam.
  • Remove subsidies and trade protections on most US industries.
  • Eliminate wasteful programs and tax breaks that insulate certain private industries from market competition.

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