Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Entering the Job Market in a Recession

The OMB has released some numbers that pertain to some previous posts here on the subject of starting your career in a recession. The key chart appears here:

So, if cohort X enters the job market under conditions of just 1% higher unemployment than cohort Y, even 15 years later, cohort X's wages are still 2.5% lower.

Quoth the OMB:
The long-term effect isn’t just a residual of low first-year wages: the author suggests that poor job match, lower prestige placements, and fewer opportunities for training and promotion also play a role.

I'd be curious, too, what effect could be developmental: does understanding of employment and adulthood tend to form through the start of one's career, and then stick with the individual, leaving less motivation or ambition? Perhaps a way to test this would be to displace people who began their career in locations with chronic unemployment/recession (such as, um, my hometown) and see if the wage effect still exists compared to those whose entire career has been built in the new location.

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