The Corner

High-School Graduates and the Recession

A recent study by the Heldrich Center at Rutgers University has examined the effects of the recession on those with only a high-school degree. For recent high-school graduates, “only 3 in 10 are employed full time, compared to college graduates who are employed at nearly twice that rate.” Furthermore,

For those who graduated high school in 2006, 2007, and 2008 — before the recession — 37 percent are employed full time, compared to only 16 percent who graduated during the recession era. Nearly half are looking for full-time work, including 30 percent who are unemployed and 15 percent who are working part time. Another eight percent are working part-time and not looking for full-time work and about one in six have left the labor market altogether. . . .

Those who graduated in the recession era are unemployed at a higher rate (37 percent) than those who graduated before the recession (23 percent). Nearly one in five high school graduates are working part-time while looking for a full-time job. When combined, the total number of all high school graduates who are looking for a full-time job is 45 percent and fully half of those graduated during the recession era.

The recession has created a lost generation of young Americans who are unable to start their careers as they have become mired in either unemployment or temporary jobs. Unless the economy is turned around, our current youth may never achieve the same standards of living of previous generations.

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