Eighty-five percent of millennials in Ohio report that they have had to make changes in their daily lives because of the poor economy while 79 percent say key life and career decisions have been severely delayed, according to a new poll by Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that engages millennials regarding economic issues.
The poll also finds that 33 percent of respondents say politicians represent their interests, and 81 percent of respondents plan to vote in the upcoming election.
“Young adults in Ohio are paying a very steep personal price for the poor economy and economic policies coming out of the White House that are crushing the creation of full-time, meaningful jobs under the weight of higher taxes and ever-expanding regulations,” says Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity and former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor. “Every day, across Ohio, young people are forced to cut back on basic purchases, such as groceries and gifts for family members, to change living conditions and move back in with their parents, to find extra work and even sell their personal possessions.
“Their dreams of buying homes, going back to school, starting families, paying off student loans, getting married, and advancing their careers have been absolutely devastated. They know they are getting a raw deal and are intensely frustrated with elected leaders who once promised change but have instead created a status quo that is even more bleak and limits the prospect of independence while pushing greater dependency. Our survey confirmed what we have heard on the ground and online for well over a year – if candidates want to earn the respect and votes of young people in Ohio, they need to offer detailed solutions that allow employers the ability to create full-time jobs that lead to improved lives and better futures.
“However, if elected leaders come to Ohio and stubbornly defend policies that have already proven to be a failure and harmful to young Americans, this generation will not hesitate to make their voices heard in November and demand change. They know America can do better, and they have the confidence to act.”
Among the top changes to their daily lives reported by respondents are reduced entertainment budget at 55 percent, cut backs on gifts for family and friends at 43 percent, reduced grocery and food budget at 43 percent and missed vacations at 38 percent. The top major life events that have been pushed back are owning property at 42 percent, going back to school at 30 percent, paying off student loans at 29 percent and starting families at 27 percent.
Another 73 percent of respondents say the middle class is becoming smaller because of fewer available jobs, and 64 percent of respondents say the availability of high-quality full-time jobs after graduation tops the need for lower student loan interest rates.