Department of Labor statistics reveal that about 53.6 percent of bachelor degree holders under the age of 25 are jobless or underemployed and this is the highest rate in 11 years. Job growth is at the top and bottom of the wage scale at the expense of many middleclass jobs.
Several studies suggest that 80 percent of the jobs lost during the economic downturn were middle income occupations and are not expected to return. The jobs that remain near the bottom are jobs not yet replaced by technological advance or innovation. Many of these jobs are labor intensive or require live humans to interact with other live human beings such as in many health care jobs or in the retail industry.
Theories abound as to why the middle class has declined so acutely. A reoccurring theme suggests that the effects of free trade are coming to critical mass in our economy with its attendant cultural impact. Economists add that Americans will never be the “hands” of labor again because we cannot compete with countries that pay very low wages, operate with no concern for the environment and have little or no concern for human rights or workers’ rights.
I wonder where this leaves us going forward, will there be a further downgrading of the American standard of living. Will future college graduates face an even more grim reality when they graduate?
I certainly hope that they will not and that we again find ourselves in a place as was before, your children could expect to do as well or better than you did during their lifetime.
Remember, all kids count.
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