For this generation of young people, the future looks bleak. Only one in six is working full time. Three out of five live with their parents or other relatives. A large majority — 73 percent — think they need more education to find a successful career, but only half of those say they will definitely enroll in the next few years.
No, they are not the idle youth of Greece or Spain or Egypt. They are the youth of America, the world’s richest country, who do not have college degrees and aren’t getting them anytime soon.
Whatever the sob stories about recent college graduates spinning their wheels as baristas or clerks, the situation for their less-educated peers is far worse, according to a report from the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University scheduled to be released on Wednesday. The data comes from a national survey of high school graduates who are not enrolled in college full time, a notoriously transient population that social scientists and other experts had been having trouble tracking. (In the two months since the survey was conducted, a large share of participants have had their phone numbers disconnected and could not be reached.)
For this group, finding work that pays a living wage and offers some sense of security has been elusive.