Our guest blogger is Heather Boushey, senior economist at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.Today’s data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides little optimism for those entering the job market. While the pain is fairly widespread, this year’s crop of newly minted graduates will be finding fewer opportunities than they hoped when they started school.
While the overall unemployment rate is 9.1 percent, the unemployment rate among those aged 16 to 24 who are not enrolled in school was 18.7 percent for men and 16.5 percent for women. Even for those in this age group with a college degree, which would include most new graduates, the unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in May.
Here in Washington, policymakers often talk about not burdening today’s young people with large debts. But focusing on the future deficit, rather than today’s jobs crisis, obscures the reality that if we do not fix the labor market, today’s young workers will not get a solid start on their careers, which is a terrible burden to bear. The labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy are large, negative, and persistent and the consequences may even more deleterious for those without a post-secondary degree.