To continue the trend of studies of who has suffered most in the economic downturn,another new study focuses on the ill effects on young workers trying to enter the job market during the Great Recession,
Younger workers, those under age 25, hover at about twice the national rate. So when the overall rate rises, the young are hit twice as hard. Racial minorities are also more likely to be unemployed than white workers. When these two trends are combined, we see the heartbreaking statistic that African American high school graduates under the age of 25 have an unemployment rate of 49.1% in the past twelve months. Yet that high rate did not translate into a higher proportion of the graduates taking shelter in college to ride out the recession and increase their earning potential. The extremely high cost of college doubtless plays a role, as does the increased likelihood that the young graduate’s parents are worse off in the recession.
College graduates in this age group are more likely to be employed, but the rate of unemployment or underemployment (too few hours) is high, almost 20%. More people than that are working at jobs that don’t require a college degree, and that presumably they would not take if they had more choices.
Unfortunately, this study predicts that the negative effects of young workers entering, or trying to enter, this job market will last for years.