Economic shifts over the past 30 years have delayed career launches for young adults, according to a report released Monday by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.
Young workers now reach financial independence at age 30 on average, an increase from age 26, and young African Americans gain traction in their careers at age 33, according to the report, Failure to Launch: Structural Shift and the New Lost Generation.
The declining access to full-time jobs has created a “lost decade” for young people, the report said. Finding employment has been especially different for young men, young adults without higher education and young African Americans. “As a result of increasing human capital requirements for both young and old, the education and labor market institutions that were the foundation of the 20th century industrial system are out of sync with the 21st century economy,” the report said.
Older workers who are college-educated are staying in the labor market longer. In 1987, 42 percent of women 55 and older were employed, compared with 62 percent in 2010. But the growing number of employed older adults has not caused the declining employment of young adults, the report said.
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