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Recent News, U.S. Politics

New Numbers on Millennial Underemployment

A recent study issued by the Harvard Institute of Politics indicates that 9.7% of Millennials are unemployed. “Furthermore, although 62.9% are currently working, 31.2% of t hose Millennials work on a part-time basis,” states the study. “Over a quarter (27.4%) are currently out of the labor force, whether as full-time students or because of disability,  incarceration, or full-time parenthood.”

Things look worse for 16-24 year olds and minorities: “Research also shows that unemployment among younger Americans (16 to 24 year olds) is twice as high as the national rate, and for Hispanic and African-American youth, unemployment rates are even higher, up to nearly four times the national unemployment rate.”

College graduates leaving school with little or no prospect of a job face difficulty repaying their loans and are at greater risk of defaulting. The income-based repayment (IBR) plan, offered by the Department of Education, serves to ease this pressure but opens the door to increased moral hazard as students are encouraged to take out loans too big to repay.

The Harvard study also indicated that marriage rates have drastically declined since the 1960s, no big surprise. “Less than 20% of 18-24s are married today, down from almost half in 1960,” states the study. “Among 25-29s, more than 40% are married today, but that is also down sharply from the 80% who were married in 1960.” Marriage is an important sign of social cohesion and often reaps such benefits as raising families out of poverty.

College graduates may be more civically engaged, but the study revealed that they are less likely to help their neighbors. “Young people without a college education are more likely to help their neighbors on a regular basis, even though they also show, on average, lower levels of trust in their neighbors,” states the study (emphasis in original). This doesn’t bode well for the modern socialization universities supposedly offer as part of a college degree.

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