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Labor Day Blues: Three-in-Four Parents and Teens Concerned Global Competition and Automation will make it Difficult for Next Generation to Have a Successful Job/Career

Junior Achievement USA Surveys Show Nearly Half of Parents “Extremely or Very Concerned” about Their Children’s Futures  

Portland, OR – A new survey from Junior Achievement USA (JA) shows that 77 percent of parents are “concerned” about their children’s ability to have a successful job or career as adults in light of global competition and automation. The same percentage (77%) of teens said they share similar concerns about having a successful job or career in the future because of global competition and automation. The survey of 1,204 parents of school-aged students and 1,000 teens was conducted by ORC International for JA.

"Education and skills are going to be critical for the next generation’s success in an ever-changing workplace," said John Hancock. "Many of the entry-level jobs we know today won’t be around in the next decade, and many of the jobs of tomorrow haven’t even been conceived of yet. It’s important we encourage our young people to explore post-secondary education, whether that be a university, community college, or a technical or trade school. Having some level of technical training is going to be critical for future career success. A high school diploma or GED just won’t be enough for many jobs."

In the survey, nearly half (45%) of parents said that they were "extremely or very" concerned about their children’s prospects for future employment, while almost as many teens (40%) had the same level of concern.

The survey was conducted in conjunction with the fall rollout of Junior Achievement’s work- and career-readiness programs. For more detail on these and other JA programs, visit JA’s programs page.


This report presents the findings of ORC International's Online and Youth CARAVAN surveys conducted among a sample of 1,204 parents of school-aged children and 1,000 13-17 year- olds.  These surveys were conducted live from June 29 to July 6, 2017, for the parents’ portion and from July 11 to July 16, 2017, for the teens’ portion.

Respondents for this survey are selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls.  Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.  All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question-wording and response options.

Junior Achievement of Oregon & SW Washington
Junior Achievement inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy through hands-on programs that promote work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. Established locally in 1950, JA is an affiliate of Junior Achievement USA, which has worked for nearly a century to provide economic and financial education for K-12 students. This year, more than 4,000 volunteers will teach JA programs in more than 1,700 classrooms, serving over 44,000 students in Oregon and SW Washington. Visit for more information.