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Young adults have long faced a rough job market, but in the last recession and its aftermath, college graduates did not lose nearly as much ground as their less-educated peers, according to a new study.The study, published on Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts, shows that among Americans age 21 to 24, the drop in employment and income was much steeper among people who lacked a college degree.The findings come as many published articles and books have told the stories of young college graduates unable to find work, and questioned the conventional wisdom that a college education is a worthwhile investment and the key to opportunity and social mobility. The study did not take into account the cost of going to college.
长期以来，年轻人面临着严峻的就业市场形势，但一项新的研究表明，在上一次经济衰退及其余波中，高校毕业生的失业率要明显低于教育程度较低的同龄人。皮尤慈善信托基金(Pew Charitable Trusts)周三公布的研究结果表明，在21岁至24岁的美国年轻人中，没有大学学历的人就业率和收入水平下降更显著。此前出版的许多文章和著作描述了年轻的大学毕业生找不到工作的故事，并质疑传统认识——也就是认为大学教育是一项有价值的投资，并且是缔造机会和社会流动性的关键。最新的这项研究并没有考虑到上大学的费用。
“This shows that any amount of post-secondary education does improve the labor market outcomes for those recent graduates,” said Diana Elliott, the research manager for Pew’s Economic Mobility Project. “This is not necessarily to discredit those individual stories.”Among those whose highest degree was a high school diploma, only 55 percent had jobs even before the downturn, and that fell to 47 percent after it. For young people with an associate’s degree, the employment rate fell from 64 percent to 57 percent.
皮尤研究中心经济流动性项目(Economic Mobility Project)的研究主管黛安娜·埃利奥特(Diana Elliott)说：“这表明，对于那些刚毕业的学生来说，任何程度的高等教育确实提高了劳动力市场结果。这并不一定是要质疑那些个别人的故事。”在最高教育程度为高中毕业的年轻人中，即使在经济衰退之前，也只有55%的人有工作，经济衰退后这一数字更是下降到了47%。对于持有副学士学位（associate’s degree，完成社区大学、二年制专科学校课程后取得的学位，相当于四年制大学的首两年课程。——译注）的年轻人，就业率从经济衰退前的64%下降至衰退后的57%。
Those with a bachelor’s degree started off in the strongest position and weathered the downturn best, with employment slipping from 69 percent to 65 percent. (The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a similar decline, about four percentage points, among all people over 20, at any education level.). One surprise in the data, Ms. Elliott said, had to do with “the prevailing speculation that people who couldn’t find work were returning to school, enhancing their training.” In fact, college enrollment over all rose sharply for several years, driven primarily by older students, before leveling off in 2011.But Pew’s study found that among people age 21 to 24, the rate of college enrollment actually declined slightly, during and after the recession.
持有学士学位的年轻人在经济衰退前就业率最高，并最好地经受住了经济衰退的考验，他们的就业率从69%下降到65%。（联邦劳工统计局[The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics]的数据反映了类似的降幅：涵盖所有教育程度的20岁以上人口就业率降幅约为4个百分点。）埃利奥特女士说，这些数据还反映出一个令人意外的现象，与“找不到工作的年轻人会回到校园以增强技能训练的普遍猜测”有关。事实上高校入学人数在过去几年急剧上升，直至2011年才触顶回稳，但这主要是由于大量年龄更大的求学者进入大学所致。而皮尤研究中心的研究发现，在21岁至24岁的人群中，经济衰退期间和之后的大学入学率实际上均略有下降。