David Frum

05.22.12

The Indentured Generation

Jed Graham follows up on his last column about the surprisingly poor job performance of students over 24 who started college but did not finish. Not only do they have a slightly higher unemployment rate than over-24s who only attended high school, but they are also more heavily laden with debt.

College means less than it used to, and these partly educated college graduates are joining in large numbers a new debt-indentured class of insecure, low-wage workers: Microserfs to borrow a phrase from Doug Coupland:

College dropouts and two-year-degree holders together now make up 33% of the low-wage workforce, only slightly less than the 37% share of high school finishers.