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

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

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.

THE END...

of our annual funding cycle is fast approaching, on June 30, and we have a considerable $230,000-plus gap in our online fundraising budget.

If you value the nonprofit journalism you get from Mother Jones, and you can, right now is an important time to help us keep charging hard with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation.

payment methods

THE END...

of our annual funding cycle is fast approaching, on June 30, and we have a considerable $230,000-plus gap in our online fundraising budget.

If you value the nonprofit journalism you get from Mother Jones, and you can, right now is an important time to help us keep charging hard with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate