In all, there are now 30 million real unemployed Americans -- not just the 15 million "officially" being counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- and they are all entitled to every reasonable public, private, 'public & private',and organized labor-based effort to find them employment. But we know that a jobless recovery can seem even more "jobless" to some out-of-work Americans than others, and right now it is our nation's African Americans, Latinos, blue collar males with high school diplomas and older workers who are facing much higher unemployment rates than other Americans.
Side by side with these unemployed workers for whom the challenge of reemployment is particularly high, however, are, as I said, five million youth who are desperately seeking initial employment. And this is not by any measure a static number, for each year, in recessions and in good times alike, another 6.4 million or so young people graduate from high school and college.
Five million is a huge, unprecedented number of unemployed youth -- in recent past recessions it never exceeded 1.5 to 2 million -- and the reason that this issue is so important is because a young person's prolonged delay into his first job has career-long impacts which show up as more limited job skills, fewer subsequent promotions and thus much lower lifetime income.