Wednesday 25 July 2012
Did the Youth Unemployment Crisis Play a Role in the Colorado Shooting? ☀
There may have been many factors that contributed to Holmes’ brutal rampage. And we may never know the full story. But the comments of the family neighbor raise a question: Did his experience in the job market contribute to Holmes’ state of mind? Certainly it is a fact that the economic crisis has taken a terrible toll on young people across America. The March 2012 unemployment rate for workers under age 25 was twice as high as the national average, standing at 16.4 percent. For young college graduates, the unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in 2010 and 9.4 percent over 2011, while the underemployment rate was 19.8 percent in 2010 and 19.1 percent in 2011.
Failure to find a first job or keep it for long can have damaging long-term consequences on the lives of our youth. Research shows that spells of unemployment for a young person often damage the person’s happiness and health for many years to come.
The California unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation. Of course, there were many young people other than Holmes who ended up working at McDonald’s after graduating with honors. And only one of them turned a movie theater into a slaughterhouse. But global reports of the connection between mental health and employment prospects are showing us that young people often suffer from feelings of self-loathing, failure, panic, and a whole range of mental health problems during times of high joblessness.
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