As the government releases its August figures for job growth and destruction – the private sector added 67,000 jobs while total jobs decreased by 54,000 – some are closely watching how the economy is affecting the young workers and entrepreneurs who will inherit the nation.
The news is grim – every month, 125,000 people enter the labor force, most of them young, and not enough jobs are not being created for them.
The Brookings Institute’s Hamilton Project found that because so few jobs are being created, and so many workers young and old are tenaciously clinging to the jobs they already have, the change in the employment-to-population ratio is worst for those in 16-to-19 age range, and second worst for those in the 20-24 range.
Graduating into the teeth of a recession, studies have found, means that young workers will earn more than 15 percent less per year than peers graduating in good times. That adds up to about $70,000 over the next decade.
The news looking forward isn’t good, either. Currently, the "job gap" – the number of jobs the economy needs to add to reach pre-recession levels – will take twelve years to close if the economy adds jobs at a monthly rate of 208,000 per month (the best rate in the past decade).
Since the economy is currently losing jobs every month, that recovery is a long way off.