Today’s young people, ages 18 to 24, should have been the lucky ones. They were preteens or teenagers when the recession hit in late 2007, with high school and college still ahead. Unlike those who had to enter the work force in the depths of the downturn, they had time, or so it seemed, to wait out the weak economy.
But that’s not how things have worked out. While the worst is over, economic conditions are still subpar, damaging the immediate job prospects and long-term living standards of young adults starting out now.
In recent years, the economy has grown annually at 2 percent or so. That’s too slow to make up the current shortfall of nearly seven million jobs, let alone to absorb new graduates or push up wages in jobs that do exist.
Our young start much farther behind than that, I’m afraid.
They start out with families whose earning power and savings is greatly reduced as the result of the rise in inequality over the last three decades, especially, in tandem with the explosion in tuition costs. Another way our kids start even further behind is the state of our education system. Our education system is turning out less well-educated students today, than it did when I was growing up. This is the culmination of several factors, including the rise of corporate education as teachers and their unions are vilified, their say in how children are educated muted, and the budgets with which to educate them greatly reduced.
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Curated from www.nytimes.com