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Sun., Oct. 26
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Ingrained in our national fabric is the idea that employment and career opportunities will be available for people who eagerly pursue them.

Some times are harder than others. Recent high school graduates are struggling to find work, according to a report from Rutgers University noted in the New York Times.

The report, which tracked high school graduates who lacked college degrees, said that just 37 percent of graduates from 2006 to 2008 had full-time jobs and 23 percent were working part time, mainly because they could not find full-time work.

Yet more recent graduates have fared worse. Only 16 percent of those who graduated in the classes of 2009 through 2011 could point to full-time occupations. Twenty-two percent had part-time jobs, but most of that group wanted to work full time, according to the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers.

The problem now is not only a weak economy but also the elimination of middle-class jobs and other work for which young people might qualify. The survey of 544 high school graduates found a difference between those who entered the work world before the recession and those who came later.

A common theme among respondents was the certainty that they needed more education to attain a good job. But many said that was out of reach due to the high cost of college, family duties and the like.

Only one in 10 said they were “extremely well prepared by their high school to succeed in their job after graduation.” That is disconcerting.

Many expressed doubts that they would find a “job that leads to a career” in the near future or one that offered health insurance. There was pessimism about starting a family or buying a home.

It is hoped that young people will forge ahead, no matter the odds, and pursue their goals and dreams. Such reports as these offer insight into what people are thinking as they do so. They also remind us that it is important to keep creating opportunities in America.

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