Chart of the Day: More Than Half of All High School Grads are Unemployed

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The chart below shows the effect of the Great Recession on high school grads entering the workforce. Back in 2006-08, about 60% found work of some kind right after graduating. Since 2009, only about 40% have found work. This is a staggering waste of human potential, and almost certainly a lifelong burden for these workers, since abundant evidence suggests that starting out your working career either unemployed or in a low-paying job leads to lower pay throughout your entire life. Having the bad luck to graduate in 2009 will probably cost these kids something close to half a million dollars over the course of their lives.

The data comes from a report by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. The chart comes from Stuart Staniford.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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