Can’t find a job? You’re not alone

Grace Lahti/Daily. Buy this photo. As a senior in college still figuring out my post-graduation plans, I am far too familiar with the dreaded question, “What are you doing next year?” In an effort to defend my “I don’t know” reply in the face of judgmental adults, I have done extensive research to defend the claim that the job hunt is significantly harder today than it was 30 years ago, right around the time our parents were searching. The percentage of kids who earn more than their parents has dropped drastically within the past few decades; 90% of adults born in the 1940s earned more than their parents, compared to 50% of adults in the 1980s. This 40% drop indicates a downward trend in mobility in which the sharpest decline is felt by middle class families and in Midwestern states like Michigan. If we measure the American Dream like it’s defined by an improved financial state, then 90% of people in the 1940s achieved the American Dream, compared to 50% of people in the 1980s. In a similar vein, a Pew Research study revealed that 62% of Americans think their kids will be worse off economically than they were at the same age. Following the aforementioned trend, this prediction seems plausible and shows that not only is there statistical evidence to prove a declining comparative financial state for Americans, but many Americans feel that fiscal success is on the decline. One possible explanation for the generational financial decline is the decreasing percentage of full-time workers in the U.S. While only 39% of 21 year olds were working full time in 2021, 64% of 21 year olds worked full time in 1980. Some may chalk this up to decreased motivation to join the workforce or the fact that more young […]

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By Donato