Congratulations, class of 2013! Welcome to the real world, whereunemployment is highand wages are low.

For the fifth year in a row, high unemployment rates and depressed wages await college grads, who are leaving campus, on average, with $26,000 instudent loan debt, according to a newanalysisby the Economic Policy Institute.

Many students go to college with the idea that they will be able to get a high quality job to pay off their student debt, but that idea is broken at a time like this, EPI economist and co-author of the report, Heidi Shierholz said.

Currently, theunemployment rate among young college grads is 8.8 percent. Thats down from 10.4 percent in 2010, but still much higher than the pre-recession level of 5.7 percent in 2007. To make matters worse, many of the college grads that do score full-time jobs are earning less than they would in a healthy job market. According to the EPI, college grads are earning about $3,200 less a year than they were in 2000. Their pay fell by 7.6 percent in the last six years alone.

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The discouraging March employment report, with a job increase ofonly 88,000, raises questions well beyond the dreary state of todays labor market. Prolonged high unemployment may be silently shredding the social fabric in ways that last for decades. Even before the Great Recession, men with a high school diploma or less faced lower wages and a harder time finding work. This made them less attractive as husbands, contributing to the growth of single-parent families. Stubbornlyhigh unemploymentalmost certainly aggravates these destructive trends.

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The Terrifying Reality of Long-TermUnemployment

Its an awful catch-22: employers wont hire you if youve been out of work for more than six months!

Close your eyes and picture the scariest thing you can think of. Maybe its a giant spider or a giant Stay Puft marshmellow man or something thats not even giant at all. Well, whatever it is, I guarantee its not nearly as scary as the

scariest thing in the world. Thats long-term unemployment.

There are two labor markets nowadays. Theres the market for people who have been out of work for less than six months, and the market for people who have been out of work longer. The former is working pretty normally, and the latter is horribly dysfunctional. That was the conclusion of recent researchI highlighted a few months agoby Rand Ghayad, a visiting scholar at the Boston Fed, and William Dickens, a professor of economics at Northeastern University, that looked at Beveridge curves for different ages, industries, and education levels to see who the recovery is leaving behind.More

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