High school graduates are doing miserably in the job market, according to a Rutgers study, Left Out. Forgotten? Recent High School Graduates and the Great Recession. One third of 2006-11 graduates who aren’t full-time college students or graduates are jobless. Only 27 percent work full time at a median hourly wage of $9.25 an hour.
Many have lost hope they can get ahead through hard work, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“It’s striking how severe young people’s problems are,” said Carl Van Horn, coauthor of the study and the director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers. “These are folks at the beginning of their work lives already feeling very pessimistic about themselves.”
Young high school graduates are competing for low-level jobs with college graduates who can’t find work that requires a degree, notes the Inquirer.
Employers typically seek more highly educated people, not because they have greater skills but because they are believed to be better workers, since they showed up for college courses and completed them, workforce experts say.
Some 37 percent of recession era graduates are unemployed, compared to 23 percent who graduated before the recession, the study found.
Many surveyed say they had planned to attend college when they started high school. But 40 percent say they could not afford the cost of full-time college; a further 30 percent say they need to work. And 10 percent say children or family members precluded chances at higher education. About 15 percent surveyed said they were not interested in college, and 5 percent said they did not need postsecondary education for what they wanted to do in life.
The Inquirer ‘s anecdotal people are a Penn State drop-out with a toddler, a part-time day care job and an unemployed boyfriend and a part-time Home Depot worker who wants to study computers but needs to work. I wish the paper had asked both if they’d considered taking community college classes to earn a certificate in paralegal studies (the single mom once wanted to be a lawyer) or computer technology.