High school graduates are having a hard time. You've probably seen the media reports over the past few days. The information comes from the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, which regularly surveys American workers to determine their status. This time around, Heldrich surveyed a representative sample of young adults who graduated from high school between 2006 and 2011 and do not have a college degree nor are enrolled in college full-time. The findings are so abysmal they deserve a look (see link to report below).
In a nutshell, 60 percent of recent high school graduates are living with their parents or other relatives. Only 27 percent have a full-time job. Those with jobs earn a median of $9.25 an hour. The 56 percent majority thinks their generation will have less financial success than the generation before them.
The broader implication: Americans are in trouble, and the trouble is spreading from the bottom up. The middle-class comfort enjoyed by older generations is a relic of a more prosperous past and will not last.
Source: Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Left Out. Forgotten? Recent High School Graduates and the Great Recession (PDF)