SOURCE: Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas

Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas

November 03, 2009 01:10 ET

Junior Achievement Report: High Unemployment Is Offshoot of the Recession

Junior Achievement Poll Finds Six-in-Ten Houston Teens Cite Unemployment and the Recession as Greatest Challenges Facing the U.S. Economy

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwire - November 3, 2009) - Typically, on the first Friday of each month, at 8:30 a.m. ET, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a host of data including the unemployment rate for the previous month. Because of the current United States' recession, which began in December 2007 and has caused more than 7 million jobs to be lost, a considerable amount of attention is now focused on this monthly announcement.

"As a result of the jobless environment over many months, the psychological effects of increasing unemployment, and the ensuing cutbacks in spending, makes reversing the recession a tremendous challenge," commented Rick Franke, president, Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas.

With the monthly reports of jobs disappearing, teens are also thinking about the economic recovery as well. According to a recent poll conducted in September 2009 by Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, the survey found that 39 percent and 21 percent of Houston-area teens respectively believe that "unemployment" and "the recession" are the greatest challenges facing the U.S. economy. The local poll, which surveyed 757 Houston-area teens, also found that 50 percent of teens "did not know" or "disagree" with the statement "you will be financially better off than your parents."

These findings underscore the need for more widespread understanding about the worst recession since the 1930s and the highest unemployment rate since 1983. The collective appeal by business executives, policy makers, educators, parents and students for increased knowledge about the topic is being answered by Junior Achievement which has unveiled its newest position paper on the economic crisis, "High Unemployment: The Recession's Harsh Reality."

Junior Achievement is the region's largest organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

The position paper focuses on the unemployment rate -- how it is measured, why it gets so much attention, what has happened to unemployment since the recession began, how unemployment varies geographically and by educational level, and the outlook for unemployment -- and puts it into context during a recession. Such analysis is driving discussions and decisions about what else, if anything needs to be done to improve the future performance of the economy.

For more information, contact Kevin R. Hattery at or visit to read the new position paper.

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