“I teach college students about jobs and the economy, and the causes and consequences of widening inequality. So I find it sadly ironic that many of them will be graduating into a labor market that’s worse than it was a decade ago, before 2007, the Great Recession.
According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (below), the rate of underemployment of recent college graduates (not just how many have jobs but how many are working part-time who’d rather be working full time) is about 12.3 percent, compared with 7.1 percent in 2000. Almost 45 percent of them are in jobs that don’t require a college degree. Their pay is barely higher than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation. Meanwhile, their student debt has skyrocketed.
Young people with only a high school degree are even worse off: They face an unemployment rate nearly 18 percent, compared with 12 percent in 2000, and their pay is lower than it was in 2000.
What to do?
1. End austerity economics. We need to invest in infrastructure and education – which will both improve overall productivity and increase overall demand.
2. Increase the federal minimum wage.
3. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
4. Update overtime rules for salaried workers.
5. Allow student debtors to reorganize their debts under bankruptcy.
6. Move to a system of free public higher education.
7. Pay for this by raising top marginal tax rates on the wealthy.
Bernie (Sanders) has been pushing many of these measures.
Maybe that’s why so many young people are pushing for Bernie.
What do you think?”
– Dr. Robert Reich (from his Facebook page post of the report below)
The Class of 2016:
The labor market is still far from ideal for young graduates
Young high school and college graduates were hit hard in the Great Recession.
While young graduates’ economic prospects have brightened in recent years, they still face elevated unemployment rates and stagnant wages.
Many groups—including young graduates of color, as well as young high school graduates entering the workforce—face particularly difficult economic realities.
This report looks at trends in unemployment, underemployment, and wages of young high school and college graduates to paint a picture of the economy facing the Class of 2016.
Read the full report here: The Class of 2016: The labor market is still far from ideal for young graduates | Economic Policy Institute