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“It’s the best time in the history of our country for young people, like yourself, to join the workforce because America is thriving, America is booming,” Trump said during a speech at Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit. “Our economic revival is incredible.”
According to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the unemployment rate among people between the ages of 16 and 19 was 12.7 percent as of June. That is down from 27.2 percent in October 2009.
Wages have risen for young people by "more than 10 percent," according to the president, while they’re also rising for blue-collar workers.
Overall, the U.S. unemployment rate is hovering near its lowest level in about 50 years, while the economic expansion is now the longest on record. Throughout the expansion, the U.S. has added more than 21 million jobs.
Trump also said his daughter and adviser, Ivanka Trump, has been working with companies to create apprenticeship programs. He mentioned Walmart, Boeing and Lockheed Martin as some of the companies that are developing training programs, adding that “they can train much better than the government.”
As the costs of higher education continue to rise – along with mounting levels of student debt – the Trump administration has been pushing training programs and apprenticeships as alternatives to a traditional four-year college education.
Despite the prospect of plentiful jobs in the U.S. economy, however, many young adults are still choosing to go the college route. According to data from The Wall Street Journal, about 69 percent of 2018 high school graduates were enrolled in higher education in October – up two percentage points from the year before.