The State of Young America

Some interesting breakdowns here. An excerpt:

Jobs & The Economy

  • Only workers with at least a BA degree saw earnings increase over the last generation
  • Median earnings for young African-Americans are 75% of the earnings of whites; 68% for Latinos
  • Young women earn less than men at every level of education.
  • Twenty-nine percent of 18-24 year olds and 16% of 25-34 year-olds are underemployed
  • The percentage of young adults with jobs is at its lowest point in a generation

Higher Education

  • Average tuition is three times higher today than in 1980
  • Two out of three students graduate with student loan debt, at an average of over $24,000 
  • African American students are more likely to take out student loans, and to graduate with higher debt levels
  • The student loan default rate rose 31% over just 2 years.

Health Care & Coverage

  • In just 10 years, employer-sponsored insurance dropped 12.8% for workers 18-24 and 8.5% for workers 25-34.  
  • During the recession, uninsurance rose among both 18-24 and 25-34 year-olds.  
  • Young people of color are disproportionately likely to lack insurance.
  • Recent reforms to the health care system have begun to reverse that trend, as 1 million young people under the age of 26 joined their parent’s plan in the last quarter of 2010 and the first two quarters of 2011

Cost of Living

  • 41.3% of 25-34 year-old households spend more than 30% of their income on rent 
  • The share of young adults living with their parents increased
  • Levels of credit card debt among those ages 25 to 34 rose 81% since 1989, to an average of $6,255 in 2007

Raising A Family

  • The labor force participation of mothers rose 25% since 1980
  • Just 11% of all workers had access to paid family leave benefits
  • Center-based child care fees for two children exceeded annual median rent payments

The State of Young America

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