Chart of the Day: More Than Half of All High School Grads are Unemployed

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The chart below shows the effect of the Great Recession on high school grads entering the workforce. Back in 2006-08, about 60% found work of some kind right after graduating. Since 2009, only about 40% have found work. This is a staggering waste of human potential, and almost certainly a lifelong burden for these workers, since abundant evidence suggests that starting out your working career either unemployed or in a low-paying job leads to lower pay throughout your entire life. Having the bad luck to graduate in 2009 will probably cost these kids something close to half a million dollars over the course of their lives.

The data comes from a report by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. The chart comes from Stuart Staniford.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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