Sign me up for updates. Sign up now

Donate Take Action
United Way Blog

Watching the State of the Union Address? Tell the President to #TalkYouthJobs!

On Tuesday, January 20 at 9pm ET, President Obama will deliver his sixth State of the Union Address. While the state of the nation’s economy is in a steady recovery, the youth unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high and the number of young people considered to be “disconnected” from the workforce or school system has hardly fallen.

For the nearly six years that Millennials in the United States (people aged 18-34) have endured double-digit unemployment, Americans aged 16-24 have also experienced more than twice the national average unemployment (15 percent, versus 7.3 percent for the general working population). According to a study sponsored by the organization Young Invincibles, youth unemployment costs the nation up to $25 billion every year, predominately in lost tax revenue.

It is critical that the President recognize that our economy will not fully recover until youth have access to the education and skills necessary to obtain a family-sustaining career. That’s why United Way is hosting the #TalkYouthJobs campaign to call attention to the need for the President and Congress to prioritize investments in youth employment.

The State of the Union is the time for President Obama to voice his support for youth employment and reinforce that investing in education, skills training and workforce development pays for itself in the long- and short-term.

How YOU Can Support the #TalkYouthJobs Campaign:

  1. Send a message on your social media accounts. See sample posts below or here.
  2. Tweet a photo at President Obama holding a #TalkYouthJobs sign. You may also post a message on your Facebook page.
  3. Share youth jobs as your top priority issue in the President’s “Citizen’s Memo.” Add it here.
  4. Spread the word to your networks as an opportunity to champion youth employment.

Sample Messages:

  • Youth unemployment is 2x the adult rate. Hope @BarackObama will #talkyouthjobs at #SOTU! #liveunited http://ow.ly/HsWcG
  • .@WhiteHouse: When young ppl enter the workforce, our economy & society benefit. #TalkYouthJobs at #SOTU! #liveunited http://ow.ly/HsWcG
  • #Millennials have double-digit unemployment. Will Pres @BarackObama #talkyouthjobs in #SOTU? #liveunited http://ow.ly/HsWcG
  • .@BarackObama, give our yng ppl a fair shot at the #AmericanDream! #TalkYouthJobs at the #SOTU! #liveunited http://ow.ly/HsWcG
  • I believe that youth employment is critical for the economy, so I’m asking @WhiteHouse to #talkyouthjobs at #SOTU

Help us call on the President to talk about youth employment at the State of the Union! We’re inviting organizations and individuals to join us in sending messages and photos to President Obama and urging him to list youth employment among his top priorities during the speech.

Join us. Change doesn’t happen without you.