The career goals young workers find most important demonstrate a keen desire to move into adulthood—to achieve financial security and, above all, to have the time and resources to support a family. But although they prioritize time with family just as much as older workers, many young workers have to postpone starting families until they are more financially secure. Thirty-one percent worry very or somewhat often about this potential delay.
With the rising cost of education, it’s increasingly difficult for low-income workers to pursue the education that could help them advance. A full 54 percent of these workers worry about paying for education, compared with 24 percent of workers with incomes over $30,000. Even more disquieting, low-income workers are just as likely to live with parents as to live on their own. These results indicate that young people with incomes under $30,000 find even more roadblocks on their path to financial independence and adulthood than do young workers overall.
In fact, according to the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, the greatest decline in employment rates since 2000 has been among those without college diplomas.
The whole report is worth a look. We get in rarefied discussions sometimes about this issues, but access and equity (and the endeavor of public education itself) is so crucial to the lives of so many people. I think that this is where I worry a bit about the “current education does more harm than good” approach. Theoretically yes, but if I had a magic wand that had to choose between instantly instantiating better education or universal access, I would choose universal access in a heartbeat.