Voters Favor Policy Investments to Support Young Adults, Including Employment Training and Paid Family and Medical Leave

By Sapna Mehta, Nia West-Bey, and Kirby Phares

In September, the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report on poverty revealed that the young adult poverty rate reached 15.3% in 2022, the highest level for this age group since 2017. With so many young people facing barriers to economic well-being, the alarming figures underscore the need to invest in youth development and opportunity — ensuring that young people have the training, employment opportunities, and job protections they need to support themselves and their families.

Without access to high-quality, stable jobs, education, and training, young people’s early adulthood is defined by economic distress. Young workers who don’t have access to paid leave often lack the economic resources needed to support themselves and their families. They are often just beginning their careers and are unlikely to have savings to fall back on. It’s clear that voters support policies that can help end this cycle, including federal investments in youth opportunity and employment.

>>Read the report.