Younger workers (ages 16 to 19 and 20 to 24) have been disproportionately impacted by the Great Recession in terms of employment-to-population ratio. Many young adults are entering the workforce for the first time following high school or college, only to find limited job opportunities. This has primarily been caused by a limited number of job openings, as well as very few workers leaving their jobs. Unemployment and underemployment will have long-run impacts for today’s young adults. Evidence from past recessions indicates that young people graduating from college during a severe recession will earn approximately 17.5 percent less per year than comparable peers graduating in better labor markets. This lower wage effect is highly persistent, fading away only after 17 years of work.
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