The hearing noted that despite the economy's steady but slow recovery since the financial crisis and recession, young Americans continue to face challenges finding employment and managing student loan debt. According to testimony by Dr.
"Growing up, I know my parents shared the same hopes of many parents: that in America, their children would have a chance to go further than they themselves had," said Senator Merkley. "It was what led my own father, a millwright and a mechanic, to believe that his son could do just about anything if he worked hard, got a good education, and went to college. Today, however, young Americans and their families worry about whether the post-recession economy will provide the same kinds of opportunities to this generation that their parents had."
The financial crisis of 2008 dealt a devastating blow to the economy that all Americans, especially young Americans, continue to feel. Millions of Americans lost their homes and home equity in the financial crisis, and the recession sharply curtailed state governments' investments in higher education. As a result, student debt has exploded in the last decade, surpassing every other kind of household debt except housing, having skyrocketed to over
"The generation that is now graduating and entering the workforce is creative, resourceful, and increasingly likely to hold a college degree or have some form of higher education," said Senator Merkley. "The key is for us to create the strong economy and good jobs that will allow them to fulfill their potential. As policymakers, we owe it to young Americans to hear their concerns and seek to develop policies that will better empower them to succeed. Because when they succeed, our whole economy does better."
The other witnesses were Mr.
Audio and video footage of the hearing is available here.
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