Lopez Eastlick says there is another major factor: rising minimum wage requirements. Minimum wage increases raise the bar for entry-level employment. From 1997 until 2007, the minimum wage stood at $5.15. Congress raised it to $5.85 in 2007, to $6.55 last year, and in July it is scheduled to increase again to $7.25.
"For teens who are not in the work force, as many as 10 years later there are financial impacts to that. Ten years later, if you were not employed, you're lagging behind your peers," says Lopez Eastlick. "There's an invisible curriculum you learn from having a job."
(For more bad news for young people in today's job market, see the last link here.)
Update: From the New York Times, "Say Hello to Underachieving":
If the only problem were tedium, students might find a recessionary summer unpleasant but endurable. But some expressed concern that the economic gloom might be a preview of harsh career realities that await.Lack of hope? Didn't we just elect Hope? The problem with the unwanted leisure?
“The worst thing about this summer is the lack of hope felt by so many kids,” Lydia Wiledon, a Barnard undergraduate, wrote in an e-mail message. “College students ready to thrust themselves into work find nothing, and those most in need are edged out by older, more skilled individuals who are overqualified for such foot-in-the-door opportunities. I worry about how this employment drought will affect my generation in the future.”
Students who enter the job market during a recession can see their wages lag behind comparable students who graduated in better times for as long as 15 years, according to a recent study by Lisa B. Kahn, an economist at the Yale School of Management.
A month ago Iowahawk outdid himself with his post on "funemployment":
As frivolous as it sounds, funemployment is a statement about American society. Experts say it's a sign that Americans are slowly embracing a healthier lifestyle that centers on self-actualization, survival, and Twitter rather than the often soul-crushing burdens of corporate careerism. These experts frequently credit the Obama Administration.Read the whole thing if you need a laugh.
"Recession is a great opportuning for people to get outside, enjoy a sunny park bench, and have fun," said Robert Lester, a professor at UCLA's Anderson School of Business. "And President Obama is making that kind of fun possible for more and more people every day."