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Left Out. Forgotten? Recent High School Graduates and the Great Recession

June 6, 2012 Comments off

Left Out. Forgotten? Recent High School Graduates and the Great Recession (PDF)
Source: John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development (Rutgers University)

A new national survey from the Heldrich Center of recent high school graduates from 2006 to 2011 finds:

  • Only 27% have full-time jobs;
  • Nearly one in three are unemployed and another 15% are employed part time but looking for full-time jobs;
  • The annual earnings of those working full time are barely sufficient to keep them out of poverty;
  • Ninety percent are paid hourly; the current median wage for those employed full time is only $9.25 — just $2.00 above the federal minimum wage; and
  • Seven in ten say that their current job is temporary.

Fewer than 1 in 10 say that their high school education prepared them “extremely well” to get their first job or to be successful at it. Seven in ten believe they will need more education in order to have a successful career, but recent high school graduates are finding it difficult to achieve their goals. They report that economic issues bar them from additional education. Most who were unable to attend college or who dropped out either say they could not afford it or they had to work to support themselves and their family.

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Out of Work and Losing Hope: The Misery and Bleak Expectations of American Workers

September 3, 2011 Comments off

Out of Work and Losing Hope: The Misery and Bleak Expectations of American Workers (PDF)
Source: John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development (Rutgers University)
From press release (PDF):

A new nationwide survey conducted in August 2011 finds that 41% of Americans who lost a job before being first surveyed two years ago are either unemployed (33%) or employed part time but looking for full-time jobs (8%). The number employed either full or part time now stands at 43%, while the remaining 17% are not in the labor force. Just one-quarter of those over age 50 first surveyed in 2009 now have a full-time job.

Three-quarters of the currently unemployed have been out of work for more than six months and fully half have been out of work for more than two years. Three-quarters of these long-term unemployed say the recession has had a major impact on their families; 60% say they have borrowed money from family or friends to make ends meet. The same number report cutting back on food and health care to the extent that it has made a difference in their daily lives.

Among those fortunate enough to find work, over half settled for lower pay; nearly one-third saw their job-related benefits cut. Just 57% believe their new jobs will be permanent and a similar number say they took the job just to get by while looking for something better. About 45% found themselves employed in an area extremely different from where they had been working. Although grateful for their opportunities, reemployed workers describe their new job as a step down rather than a step up by a margin of almost two to one.

The percentage saying the U.S. economy is experiencing fundamental and lasting changes has grown from 52% in August 2009 to 71% in August 2011. Despite the formal “end” of the recession in June 2009, just 29% say the economy is in a temporary downturn, compared to 48% who thought this way in August 2009.

Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy

May 19, 2011 Comments off

Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy (PDF)
Source: John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy (Rutgers)
From press release (PDF):

National survey of College Graduates from 2006 to 2010 finds…

  • Just over half of recent college graduates are working full-time; half are working in jobs not requiring a BA or BS degree.
  • The median starting salary of students graduating in 2009 and 2010 was 10% lower than the salary received by those who entered the workforce in 2006 and 2007. College educated women continue to earn less than college educated men.
  • The vast majority of college graduates are satisfied with their college education, but three quarters would do something different during college if they could start college over again.
  • The majority of college graduates believes that their generation will not do better than the one that came before them; not even half expect to have more financial success than their parents.
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