While 18- to 34-year-olds have struggled overall, young adults of color have been particularly hurt by the Great Recession. Historically, unemployment in African-American, Hispanic and some Asian-American communities has been consistently higher than average unemployment for all young adults, and the Great Recession has made that gap even wider
In 2010, 24 percent of 18- to 34-year-old non-Hispanic blacks in Washington state were unemployed and nearly 16 percent of young Hispanics were looking for work. The unemployment rate for all Washingtonians that year was 9.9 percent.
Washington state must address the struggles of all communities head-on. Without shared economic security and adequate opportunity, Washington’s future prosperity is increasingly in doubt. Population trends reinforce this point. In 1980, communities of color made up just over 10 percent of the state’s total young adult population. Today, that number is 30 percent and rising.
This diversity is an economic and cultural asset for Washington state as young adults from various communities bring high-levels of skill, motivation, and new ideas to our state economy. A prosperous future is impossible without investments in young adults from all communities and backgrounds.
Read more on shared economic prosperity and young adults in our latest policy brief.