The college enrollment rate for recent U.S. high-school graduates, ages 16 to 24, declined to 62% last year from 66.2% in 2019, just before the pandemic began, according to the latest Labor Department data. The rate topped out at 70.1% in 2009. The unemployment rate for teenage workers ages 16 to 19 fell to a 70-year low of 9.2% last month, fueling larger pay increases. Average hourly earnings for rank-and-file leisure and hospitality workers were up nearly 30%, seasonally adjusted, from April 2019 to April 2023, compared with roughly 20% during the same period for all workers. College enrollment has declined by about 15% in the past decade, according to federal data. The reasons include the high cost of university education, colleges closing and uneven returns from getting a degree, as well as the hot job market.
- Date Posted:
- May 26, 2023
Work requirements are an imperfect method to try to replace the incentive to work that social programs eliminate. Our government does this sort of thing all over to transfer income but contain the disincentives: Subsidize gas, and then regulate against its use for example. By the way, supposedly socialist Europe, after its experience with "the dole" in the early 1990s, is much more heard-hearted about these sorts of incentives than we are. Is there a better way? I've long played with the idea of limiting help by time rather than by income. That's how unemployment insurance works. We understand that replacing people's paycheck forever if they lose their job has bad incentive effects. Unemployment is understood as a temporary misfortune, and understanding the incentives, you get unemployment checks for a limited amount of time. Could not many other programs aimed at misfortune also be limited by time -- but then allow you to keep each extra dollar of earnings? Perhaps even unemployment should be a fixed amount of time, and you can keep receiving it for the full (normally) 26 weeks even if you get a job.