Schmudget Blog

Maybe When You’re Older: Prosperity and Young Adults in Washington State

Posted by michaelm at Sep 28, 2012 01:20 PM |

Today we released a new policy brief, “Maybe When You’re Older: Prosperity and Young Adults in Washington State” that details the impact of the Great Recession and recent state budget cuts on young adults – 18 to 34 years old.

Plagued by high unemployment, soaring college costs and reduced economic opportunity, few other recent generations can claim to have come of age during more turbulent times. To ensure Washington’s long-term prosperity, we must invest in 18- to 34-year olds just entering or trying to regain their footing in our slowly-recovering economy.

Young adults face numerous challenges as they struggle to establish themselves in the wake of the recession: 

  • Disproportionately high unemployment and poverty
  • Early economic struggles with long-term negative implications
  • Young adults of color are experiencing severe economic difficulty
  • Damaging state spending cuts reduced resources for young adults in the state



Policymakers should seize the opportunity to invest in the building blocks of a strong economy, so widespread prosperity can again be within reach for Washington’s young adults. Adequately funding higher education to ensure that tuition accounts for no more than 50 percent of higher education resources, bolstering the TANF cash grant, fully funding the Working Families Tax Rebate, and fully expanding Medicaid would put Washington state’s young adults – and the state as a whole – in a position for sustained economic prosperity well into the future.

Read the full policy brief here.

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