generation limbo: 20-somethings today, debt, unemployment, the questionable value of a college education

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I guess the wider-ranged baby boomer def is people born from 1943-1960, so I guess that makes some sense.

so i had sex with a piñata (mh), Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:52 (eight years ago) link

I kind of buy into this concept, with the majority of kids of that age actually being the scions of this segment:

so i had sex with a piñata (mh), Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:53 (eight years ago) link


gen x kids are the blue and purple bars. wouldn't make sense that gen x's offspring outnumbered gen x by a huge margin. xp

iatee, Wednesday, 21 September 2011 14:53 (eight years ago) link

but yeah the drop from the current 20-24 group to 10-14 is substantial and will def be felt by (the ever growing number of) marginal institutions.

iatee, Wednesday, 21 September 2011 15:00 (eight years ago) link

P. sure that hikkikomori refers just to the shut-in phenomenon and not to the concept of underemployed young adults more generally.

ilx user 'silby' (silby), Thursday, 22 September 2011 18:34 (eight years ago) link

I think the idea is that there's something of correlation between that kind of behavior and a dire economy

iatee, Thursday, 22 September 2011 18:43 (eight years ago) link

Yeah but my strident animu stan side is just rankling against the minor inaccuracy

ilx user 'silby' (silby), Thursday, 22 September 2011 18:55 (eight years ago) link

I used to always say that once we had invented virtual sex the world would shut down but it looks like naruto was enough

Whiney G. Blutfarten (dayo), Thursday, 22 September 2011 19:56 (eight years ago) link

but without reading the article, just let me know if a comparison to japan was made at all

Whiney G. Blutfarten (dayo), Thursday, 22 September 2011 19:57 (eight years ago) link


ilx user 'silby' (silby), Thursday, 22 September 2011 19:58 (eight years ago) link

I guess we can make the argument that at least it's easier for us to stay at home since we all live in suburbs

Whiney G. Blutfarten (dayo), Thursday, 22 September 2011 20:00 (eight years ago) link

At many colleges and universities, the survey found, whom you know does matter. More than a quarter of the admissions directors said they had felt pressure from senior-level administrators to admit certain applicants, and almost a quarter got pressure from trustees or development officers.

“If external parties are trying to influence admissions decisions, that’s a concern that strikes at the legitimacy of the whole process,” Mr. Hawkins said. “We certainly have standards, but there needs to be awareness that when the economy starts to crumble, the standards may start to go out the window.”

I glossed over this part when I first read the article but this is pretty alarming too! there are so many incentives to admitting legacies from rich families - they pay full tuition and you put your hooks into their parents when alumni giving season rolls around.

Whiney G. Blutfarten (dayo), Thursday, 22 September 2011 20:03 (eight years ago) link

At some point I became privy to the not-particularly-secret information that my school definitely admitted a fairly sizable proportion of full-pay applicants. It's a small place where most of the operating budget comes from tuition and fees (vs. endowment draw), a historically high attrition rate between the first and second years, and something like an overall 45% discount rate on the sticker price of tuition. So basically it's a situation where, to some extent, underqualified full-pay freshmen subsidize everybody else with their tuition, then drop out/burn out/get kicked out. This has been my interpretation of the situation; it might not really be quite that substantial of an effect, but I believe that it's there.

ilx user 'silby' (silby), Thursday, 22 September 2011 20:10 (eight years ago) link

gen x kids are the blue and purple bars. wouldn't make sense that gen x's offspring outnumbered gen x by a huge margin. xp

― iatee, Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:53 AM (Yesterday)

considering a number of gen x ladies didn't feel like breeding until their mid-30s, there are also gen x offspring in that 0-4 bracket, along w/the boomer grandkids.

sarahel, Friday, 23 September 2011 01:23 (eight years ago) link

yeah that would explain the size of it I guess

iatee, Friday, 23 September 2011 01:24 (eight years ago) link

so, sometime in the past couple of years 20somethings stopped really clapping/whooing for bands? Like even at the end of a show. Pos just an indierockpunk montreal thing? It is weird. and, I believe, wrong.

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 23 September 2011 07:26 (eight years ago) link

(I have no stats abt their level of education and debt tho)

obliquity of the ecliptic (rrrobyn), Friday, 23 September 2011 07:28 (eight years ago) link

rrrobyn i have very little empirical evidence to back you up but what you say rings sadly true :(

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 23 September 2011 09:35 (eight years ago) link

I clap for bands, unless they suck

I AM THE CROOT (crüt), Friday, 23 September 2011 10:07 (eight years ago) link

depends on the size/style of the show in my experience, but I've seen the lights come on and everyone kind of wanders around at smaller shows

if you are talking about the arcade fire show you just went to, I have no idea wtf their problem is

so i had sex with a piñata (mh), Friday, 23 September 2011 14:28 (eight years ago) link

I am from somewhere where it is customary to clap and whoo after the last song until the band comes out to at least acknowledge and wave, if there is no encore.

so i had sex with a piñata (mh), Friday, 23 September 2011 14:29 (eight years ago) link

clap for bands, say yeah

Disraeli Geirs (Hurting 2), Friday, 30 September 2011 03:52 (eight years ago) link

good article, lotta butthurt in the comments

max, Friday, 30 September 2011 12:05 (eight years ago) link

it's kinda amazing how much damage one shitty magazine has done

but people really do like ranking things and's also a good example of how 'competition' can lead to an increasingly dysfunctional market

iatee, Friday, 30 September 2011 13:38 (eight years ago) link

more reasons to sentence mort zuckerman to 1m years in prison

max, Friday, 30 September 2011 13:39 (eight years ago) link

Heh, I cheerfully attended the lowest-ranked college that I got into.

ilx user 'silby' (silby), Friday, 30 September 2011 13:58 (eight years ago) link


thank you BIG HOOS, you brilliant god-man (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Wednesday, 5 October 2011 13:21 (eight years ago) link

the financial industry brain drain

The number of Harvard graduates heading to the financial sector remains disheartening. The Crimson surveys the post-graduation plans of Harvard’ senior class annually, yielding responses from 35 percent to 55 percent of the senior class. In 2007, the survey reported that a staggering 47 percent of workforce-bound seniors took jobs in finance or consulting. In 2008, the survey number dipped to 39 percent. In 2009, it fell to 20 percent, with 11.5 percent in finance. That’s progress, but it still means that one in 10 workforce-bound seniors are headed straight for soul-sucking corporate servitude.

interesting to see how the numbers correspond with the crash. I guess one 'good' thing about the recession is that less smart people are heading into finance.

2001: a based godyssey (dayo), Thursday, 13 October 2011 01:35 (eight years ago) link

Of course, avoiding the Siren call of Morgan Stanley isn’t as easy as it sounds. The Office of Career Services has been cramming the corporate sector down Crimson throats for years. While Harvard has authority over OCS, we’re not going to see a ban on investment banks, a la the ROTC ban, anytime soon. The University knows where its bread is buttered.

otm - if you want to become a doctor, lawyer, or i-banker, OCS at an elite school has got you covered. if you want to be anything else, well, good luck, you're an ivy grad, I'm sure you'll be able to forge your own path.

2001: a based godyssey (dayo), Thursday, 13 October 2011 01:37 (eight years ago) link

I dunno I think the recession prob didn't discourage ivy-types, their other options seemed even more bleak than usual

ows might have discouraged a few people, who knows

iatee, Thursday, 13 October 2011 01:39 (eight years ago) link

probably not but hedge funds probably just didn't offer as many jobs

2001: a based godyssey (dayo), Thursday, 13 October 2011 01:39 (eight years ago) link

dayo, Thursday, 20 October 2011 12:33 (eight years ago) link

Doesn't sound like I would enjoy talking to any of those guys tbh

medium rear (silby), Thursday, 20 October 2011 13:22 (eight years ago) link

did anyone read the new york magazine cover article? there are some good parts tho it does read like a blog post.

iatee, Thursday, 20 October 2011 23:33 (eight years ago) link

All the world's a blog post.

WE DO NOT HAVE "SECRET" "MEETINGS." I DO NOT HAVE A SECOND (Laurel), Friday, 21 October 2011 00:08 (eight years ago) link

that "are too many people earning college degrees" debate is on the wrong subject, tho the answer is undeniably yes considering the macro picture, for-profit schools etc.

the real debate should be "will we be able to make college affordable / 'a good investment' for the majority of Americans? what are the long-term consequences if that answer is 'no'?"

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 00:21 (eight years ago) link

Are there really a lot of careers that pay a livable wage that don't require a college degree or at least some post-secondary education or training? I feel like those jobs are decreasing but the jobs that do exist on the lower end of the spectrum aren't able to adequately compensate for the cost of education.

avant-garde heterosexuals (mh), Friday, 21 October 2011 00:26 (eight years ago) link

I mean there is a 'bubble' but the prob is entirely in the financial structure. I don't think there's an inherent problem w/ having half of the 18-22 y/o's off studying random shit instead of entering the job market right away. there are lots of social and economic gains from that. the bubble's in the way we pay for it.

if there were no free high school and a similar cost structure we'd prob be having discussions about whether high school was 'worth it'

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 00:28 (eight years ago) link

Right now, most high schools might not be "worth it" which is why college is necessitated

avant-garde heterosexuals (mh), Friday, 21 October 2011 00:33 (eight years ago) link

heh well that depends on if you view education as an end in itself or as being vocational in some way.

the basic problem is, as I understand it, middle-class jobs are being hollowed out. there are low-level jobs, like manual labor and service work, and then there are high level jobs which can't be offshored, like doctors and lawyers, which are gonna require more than a college ed. that leaves a whole bunch of people with bachelor degrees competing for a shrinking pool of jobs.

dayo, Friday, 21 October 2011 00:55 (eight years ago) link

that leaves a whole bunch of people with bachelor degrees competing for a shrinking pool of jobs who want to live in coastal cities

Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas
Monthly Rankings
Not Seasonally Adjusted
Aug. 2011

1 Bismarck, ND Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.0
2 Lincoln, NE Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.6
3 Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area 3.9

163 New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA Metropolitan Statistical Area 8.3
253 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 9.7
338 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area 11.8

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 01:27 (eight years ago) link

a. there are countless industries that exist in ny/sf/la and do not exist in bismarck or fargo
b. whether or not they want to, an overwhelming majority of people with college degrees actually do not live in ny/sf/la, even most 20-somethings
c. btw 'people should just to north dakota and work on oil rigs' would not actually work, they are tiny cities and the unemployment rate vs. total amount of job openings is misleading in sparsely populated areas.

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 03:09 (eight years ago) link

a. countless industries that evidently aren't hiring!
b. I can't believe that the people on Bones are a couple now! though I guess that's appropriate given the name
c. they wouldn't be so tiny if all you coastal elites would move there! one of my students who is from ND (n.b. I don't live there) says that her friend got a $20 a hour job making food at Taco Bueno because the supply of labor is so low there.

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 03:16 (eight years ago) link

'work in fast food in north dakota' is prob a good idea for some people, like people who don't have ties to where they live + live in an economically depressed area. like if you live in a shitty part of Nevada and just want a job (that seems to be why most people move there), why not?

but again there are limits to small resource extraction economies in isolated parts of the country and if a few thousand people show up that employment gap disappears.

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 03:36 (eight years ago) link

euler i think yr being p naive abt the economics of migration and both the short and long term costs of moving to ND to lay oil pipeline or w/e. like you could probably get a p good paper out of 'the costs of information asymmetry to new migrants'

just too lazy/tired to do the right thing and google a credible study but part of the problem with internal migration is that things like $20/hr fast food jobs only exist bcuz of a temp imbalance and the 'real costs' of working those jobs is often much higher than equivalent jobs elsewhere because the lack of a local support structure and the high cost of things like housing and other primary services blah blah blah

i mean the last time i looked migration patterns do generally reflect the stats yr citing but the reason many ppl dont just move to where there are jobs is less about 'wanting to live somewhere cool' than both ppls 'rational expectations' abt long-term employment prospects and the percieved/real costs of transition?

koyannisquatsi hop (Lamp), Friday, 21 October 2011 06:25 (eight years ago) link

I did the math, for north dakota's (I just went w/ 70% of the population as the work force) 3.5% unemployment rate to turn into a 5% unemployment rate, 6790 unemployed people need to show up in the state. obv it's not that simple and there are economic gains from people showing up (fewer gains if they're all broke, unskilled, unemployed tho) but overall there's really not that much opportunity for geographic arbitrage to begin with - this is before factoring in what lamp said, that even that existence is not clear cut.

information asymmetry - absolutely - most people are not familiar with the local economy of every single metro area in the country, the general awareness is 'the american economy is extremely shitty' - beyond that they're prob familiar w/ the large metro areas near them. I think if "north dakota, economic wonderland!" type things were on TV on a regular basis you'd prob see some people attempt to take advantage of it. there are tons of examples of large scale internal migration for economic reasons (arizona, texas, florida) but in all those cases the information was 'out there'.

here is the nymag article which prob will just give euler more ammo for his 'your generation is unemployed because they all moved to brooklyn' hypothesis

iatee, Friday, 21 October 2011 16:42 (eight years ago) link

yeah I'm sure I'm naive here though at least in my part of the country the last several years (the great plains) there's widespread awareness of the cities regionally that have work; so the informational asymmetry likely reflect regional epistemic diffferences.

yeah iatee capitalism makes living in some places like NYC a luxury good. even if it cost less to live there b/c we figured out how to control real estate prices better, there's only so many jobs there, & apparently the competition for them is cutthroat.

Euler, Friday, 21 October 2011 16:52 (eight years ago) link

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