An unsettling labor report issued by the UCLA Labor Center finds that 57 percent of “young workers” are mired in low-wage jobs.
According to the report, earning $13.38 per hour or less qualifies as a low-wage job. Young adults—ages 18 to 29— in low-wage jobs in the county make a median hourly income of $9.04.
The data suggests that economic recovery and improved unemployment numbers, often touted as accomplishments by President Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown, overlooked many college graduates in the last eight years.
The weak earning power of young workers may also explain the ongoing student loan crisis spurred by the failure of many to pay back what they have borrowed. Hillary Clinton threatens to exploit this if she becomes president by forgiving student loan obligations, which she repeatedly hints at on the stump during her 2016 presidential campaign speeches.
Included in the report’s findings are a quarter of Los Angeles workers are young people. The young workers are more educated than any previous generation, but have experienced a 10.8 percent decline in income since 2000. Young workers experience a higher unemployment rate (16.8 percent) than other workers (9.2 percent). Young black workers experience the highest unemployment rate at 28.4 percent.