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How We Survive: The Recession Generation


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Credit: swanksalot, via flickr

Economists say the “Great Recession” is over, but for most people, the hard times are not. If you’re a young person looking for a job, it looks pretty dismal out there, and it may not brighten up anytime soon. On this edition of How We Survive, we look at how the economy is hitting the “millennial generation.”


Alissa Anderson, Deputy Director, The California Budget Project; Chris Hutchins, laid off young worker; Lynne Lancaster, co-author, “The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace;” Enrico Moretti, Professor of Economics at UC-Berkeley; Nora Rose, volunteer, Temescal Library’s Homework Help program; Thomas McCall, Richmond resident.

For More Information:

California Budget Project
Sacramento, CA

Crosscurrents Radio on KALW News
San Francisco, CA

Young Workers United

Youth Empowerment Center
Oakland, CA

Articles and Books:

Stuck between a Recession and Recovery’ – California Budget Project

The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace

By Lynne Lancaster


How A Recession Will Shape A Generation

When it comes to job creation, it feels like the nation is still in the middle of the Great Recession. The millennial generation is a group of people between 10 and 28 years old. Nationally, there are about 80 million of them. In this next part of the show, we’ll hear a two part series from KALW Radio in San Francisco. Reporter Rina Palta takes a hard look at how the toughest job market in decades will shape this recession generation.

California Youth Among Hardest Hit By Recession

The state of California was hit much harder by the recession than the United States as a whole. The unemployment rate is almost three percentage points higher than the national figure. And the turn around of the job market has slowed down with state budget cuts and dwindling federal recovery funds. That’s according to Alissa Anderson of the California Budget Project, whom we heard from earlier in the show. Anderson authored a report called “Stuck Between a Recession and a Recovery,” which, among other things, looked at out-of-school 16-24 year-olds in California. They found that fewer than six out of ten of these young adults are working. We talked with Anderson about why this population is the last hired and first fired in a recession.

Homework Help: Nora Rose’s Story

But young folks aren’t just letting the recession happen to them. When the City of Oakland cut their after school homework help program, High school senior Nora Rose started volunteering at her library to help fill the void. Shaunnah Ray produced her story.

Going Door-to-Door for Education: Thomas’s Story

Thomas McCall grew up bouncing from house to house – from aunties and grandmas to friends’ couches, to the transitional housing residence for homeless youth in Richmond, CA, that he currently calls home. This 20-year-old student-athlete and father-to-be is part of a group of young people who have been hardest hit by this recession: the kids who were already struggling to make it in the American job market. Courtney Supple produced his story.


‘Accompanying Guilty Thoughts’ – by Klimek
‘A Little Bit of Somethin’’ – Tommy Guerrero
“Bartender’ by T-Pain

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