These charts, by way of Zero Hedge, are a sad commentary on the state of the national economy:
What’s causing this? Probably a number of reasons.
With fewer jobs in the economy, the most experienced workers are going to benefit. That’s going to be the 55+ age group. Also, policies such as the minimum wage hikes which were started in 2007 and ended just a couple of years ago inflated the cost of labor at the bottom of the age pool. We made employing younger Americans more expensive (and some want to make it worse by raising the minimum wage again).
But what’s really devastating is to think of all the college kids who have racked up tens of thousands, in some cases even six-figures worth, in student loan debt only to emerge from college into an economy for which there’s no work for them.
Which is no doubt why student loan delinquency rates are spiking:
We seem to be setting ourselves up for a lost generation. Younger Americans can’t get their careers started, and when they do, they’re going to be so saddled with the debt and entitlement obligations created by the generations before them that they may never be able to aspire to the prosperity of their parents or grandparents.
There’s always a lot of talk about whether or not the next generation of Americans will have it better than the one before. Most generations do, in fact, live better lives than their parents. But I’m not sure that will be true of my generation, or the one after.