Posted on 03/16/2018 at 08:21 AM by Blog Experts

The Class of 2016:  The labor market is still far from ideal for young graduates Report

By Teresa Kroeger, Tanyell Cooke, and Elise Gould • April 21, 2016

Part Two

This article provides some of the most current insight into what our graduates of 2016 were facing when they leave high school and college.  It is not what we think…

Key Findings (continued):

    • • The share of young graduates who are “idled” by the economy—neither enrolled in further schooling nor employed—remains elevated in the wake of the Great Recession. This indicates that many graduates are unable to take the two main paths—receiving further education or getting more work experience—that enable future career success. 
    • o Among young college graduates, 9.7 percent are neither enrolled nor employed (compared with 8.4 percent in 2007). 
    • o Among young high school graduates, 15.5 percent are neither enrolled nor employed (compared with 13.7 percent in 2007). 
    • • The overall unemployment rates and idling rates of young graduates mask substantial racial and ethnic disparities in these measures. 
    • o The unemployment rates of young black and Hispanic graduates are substantially higher than the unemployment rates of white non-Hispanics, for both young high school graduates and young college graduates. 
    • o Young black college graduates currently have an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent—higher than the peak unemployment rate for young white college graduates during the recession (9.0 percent). 
    • o The share of young black and Hispanic graduates who remain unemployed and not enrolled in further schooling is substantially higher than that of white graduates. 
    • • Wages of young college and high school graduates are performing poorly—and have experienced little to no growth since 2000. 
    • o Among young high school graduates, real (inflation-adjusted) average wages stand at $10.66 per hour—2.5 percent lower than in 2000. Young college graduates have average wages of $18.53—roughly the same as in 2000 (only 0.7 percent higher). 
    • o Young high school and college graduates’ wages follow the same trends as those of older graduates, signaling that the slowdown in young graduates’ wages stems from a wider wage growth problem. 
    • o Among young high school graduates, women are currently paid 92 cents for every dollar paid to men, while among young college graduates, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men. It is noteworthy that stark wage disparities between men and women occur even at this early part of their careers, when they have fairly comparable labor market experience. 
    • o Gender wage inequality among college graduates has grown since 2000. Young male college graduates earned 8.1 percent more in 2016 than in 2000, while young female college graduates earned 6.8 percent less than in 2000. These gender wage discrepancies are likely driven by men at the top of the wage distribution earning more than ever before and driving up the average male wage. 
    • • The quality of jobs for young graduates has deteriorated in recent decades.

Why this matters:  Graduating in a weak economy has long-lasting economic consequences. For the next 10 to 15 years, those in the Class of 2016 will likely earn less, and have more spells of unemployment, than if they had graduated when job opportunities were plentiful.” (to be continued next month)

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