Ohio Poll Shows Poor Economy and Lack of Full Time Jobs Devastate Young Adults

By | September 24, 2012

Only 33 percent of Ohio’s 18-29 year olds say elected leaders represent their interests and fully 81 percent intend to vote in the 2012 presidential election

Washington, DC – (9/24/12) – Generation Opportunity, the largest non-profit, non-partisan organization in the United States engaging and mobilizing young Americans (Millennials ages 18-29 years old) on the important economic issues facing the nation, released new polling data today on Ohio young adults as the 2012 presidential election nears. Since its launch in June of 2011, Generation Opportunity has amassed a following of over four million on Facebook and is actively organizing Millennials across America through grassroots tactics, voter registration, and voter turnout efforts. Generation Opportunity has already engaged well over one hundred and thirty thousand Ohio young adults through its social media and field operations.

“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. 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,” said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity and former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor. “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.”

For Generation Opportunity, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, conducted a statewide online survey of 507 Ohio adults ages 18-29 between July 27 and August 14, 2012.

Randomly selected online opt-in panel participants were sent an invitation to the survey via email which included a secure link to the online questionnaire. Quotas were used to ensure the survey was representative of the larger 18-29 year old statewide population with regard to race, region, and gender. The data were NOT weighted. The overall sampling margin of error for the survey is ±4.4% at a 95% confidence interval, meaning that the data obtained would not differ more than 4.4 percentage points in 95 out of 100 similar samples obtained.

THE IMPACT OF THE POOR ECONOMY, LACK OF OPPORTUNITY AND HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT ON OHIO’S YOUNG ADULTS:

  • 85% of Ohio’s 18-29 year olds changed some aspect of their day-to-day lives because of the current state of the economy (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):
  • 55% – reduced entertainment budget;
  • 43% – cut back on gifts for friends and family;
  • 43% – reduced grocery/food budget;
  • 38% – skipped a vacation;
  • 38% – driven less/relied more on public transit;
  • 37% – taken active steps to reduce home energy costs;
  • 30% – tried to find an additional job;
  • 27% – sold personal items or property (cars, electronic appliances, or other possessions);
  • 24% – changed living situation (moved in with family, taken extra roommates, downgraded apartment or home);
  • 17% – skipped a wedding, family reunion, or other significant social event;
  • 3% – Other, specified;
  • 11% – None of the above (accepted only this response);
  • 4% – Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).
  • 79% of 18-29 year olds in Ohio have delayed or might not do at least one major life event due to the current state of the economy (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):
  • 42% – Buy my own place;
  • 30% – Go back to school/getting more education or training;
  • 29% – Pay off student loans or other debt;
  • 27% – Start a family;
  • 25% – Save for retirement;
  • 22% – Change jobs/cities;
  • 20% – Get married;
  • 17% – None of the above (accepted only this response);
  • 4% – Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).

OHIO YOUNG ADULTS ON THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, VIEWS ON ELECTED LEADERS, THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF FULL-TIME JOBS:

  • Only 33% believe that today’s political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.
  • 73% believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class.
  • 64% of Ohio Millennials believe the availability of more quality, full-time jobs upon graduation is more important than lower student loan interest rates.
  • 81% of 18-29 year olds in Ohio plan to vote in the election for President this year. 
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