Tuesday, May 17 2016 01:00 EEST
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Robert Reich: Labor market is worse than it was a decade ago, before 2007
Robert Reich, opinion, facebook, graduates, labor market, workers, young people, hired, education, Bernie Sanders, student, employment

According to EPI, the labor market is still far from perfect and young graduates still face elevated unemployment rates and congestive wages.

In this case, American political commentator, economist, professor, and author Robert Reich shared on Facebook:

'I teach college students about jobs and the economy, and the causes and consequences of widening inequality. So I find it sadly ironic that many of them will be graduating into a labor market that’s worse than it was a decade ago, before 2007, the Great Recession.

According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (below), the rate of underemployment of recent college graduates (not just how many have jobs but how many are working part-time who’d rather be working full time) is about 12.3 percent, compared with 7.1 percent in 2000. Almost 45 percent of them are in jobs that don’t require a college degree. Their pay is barely higher than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation. Meanwhile, their student debt has skyrocketed.

Young people with only a high school degree are even worse off: They face an unemployment rate nearly 18 percent, compared with 12 percent in 2000, and their pay is lower than it was in 2000.

What to do?

1. End austerity economics. We need to invest in infrastructure and education – which will both improve overall productivity and increase overall demand.

2. Increase the federal minimum wage.

3. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.

4. Update overtime rules for salaried workers.

5. Allow student debtors to reorganize their debts under bankruptcy.

6. Move to a system of free public higher education.

7. Pay for this by raising top marginal tax rates on the wealthy.

Bernie has been pushing many of these measures. Maybe that’s why so many young people are pushing for Bernie.'

Robert Reich served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.

Reich is currently Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

He was formerly a professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and professor of social and economic policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management of Brandeis University. 

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