Matt Rourke, Associated Press
FILE - In this file photograph taken June 23, 2010, Frank Wallace who has been unemployed since May of 2009, displays his frustration during a rally organized by the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, in Philadelphia. The Federal Reserve is powerless to lift the economy out of its slow-growth rut and Congress won't pass new stimulus programs with an election looming. Shoppers are reluctant to spend, and businesses are slow to hire.

Young adult are struggling the most with the economy.

Since 2010, only 54 percent of adults ages 18-24 have been employed. That's the lowest since 1948, when the government started collecting such data. Currently, about 41 percent of Americans believe young adults (ages 18-34) have been hit the hardest by the bad economy, according to the Pew Research Center.

The gap of 15 percentage points, between young and all aged adults, is the widest in recorded history. Those young adults have also seen a drop of 6 percent in weekly earnings, the biggest decrease among full-time employed adults of any age group in the last four years.

A large segment of the public, 82 percent, says it's harder for young adults to find a job now than it was during their parents' generation. About 70 percent of those surveyed say it's more difficult to save for the future, pay for college, or buy a home, according to Pew.

However, many young adults still look at the future with optimism. In fact, 88 percent say they either currently have or earn enough or will earn enough money in the future to live the life they want, according to the survey of 2,048 adults across the nation.

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