This is particularly true of high-school graduates who, according to a recent study by Carl Van Horn, Cliff Zukin and Mark Szeltner [pdf], are facing an increasingly miserable time in the job market. At best, they are finding some kind of temporary, low-wage work; at worst, they are simply unemployed, without any prospects of finding full-time, decently paid work anytime in the foreseeable future.
Overall, one in three high school graduates included in the survey report being unemployed and looking for work. These findings are consistent with figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that show the unemployment rate of young high school graduates not enrolled in college was 33% in 2010 and 31% through 2011. Those who graduated in the recession era are unemployed at a higher rate (37%) than those who graduated before the recession (23%). Nearly one in five high school graduates are working part time while looking for a full- time job. When combined, the total number of all high school graduates who are looking for a full-time job is 45% and fully half of those graduated during the recession era.
Looking for a job has proven to be difficult for those who are unemployed. Nearly half say they have been actively seeking employment for more than six months, and 3 in 10 have been searching for more than a year. When asked how long they think it will be until they start a new job, fully half were unable to make a guess. The other half was hopeful they would start a new job within the year. The uncertainty expressed by respondents about when they would start a new job may be explained by the fact that more than 8 in 10 have not received a job offer since they started looking.
High-school graduates in the United States are being consigned to a precarious, low-income future.