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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:45pm
Fri Apr 22, 2016

Labor Market Looking Up For Recent Grads, But Experts Say More Improvement Needed

The U.S. labor market remains tough for today's young high school and college graduates, but their job prospects are brighter than they were for past groups of students who graduated in the wake of the Great Recession, finds a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI)

Nonetheless, recent graduates continue to experience poor wage growth as well as unemployment and underemployment rates higher than pre-recession levels, according to the liberal think tank. Unemployment rates among young college and high school graduates also remain higher for blacks and Hispanics than whites.

"Though there has been improvement since the unemployment rate for young workers peaked in 2010, the labor market has still not completely recovered," reads EPI's report. "Thus, the class of 2016 will be the eighth consecutive graduating class to enter the labor market during a period of weakness. The evidence suggests that because of their unlucky timing -- in other words, through absolutely no fault of their own -- this cohort is likely to fare poorly for at least the next decade."

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:16pm
Thu Feb 18, 2016

Illinois Rep. Cassidy Seeks To Increase Inmate Access To GED Education (VIDEO)

In an effort to reduce recidivism, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) introduced legislation last week that would increase "timely and comprehensive" access to GED education for Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) inmates.

"I think that the general public would be surprised to hear how little programming is available for the folks that are incarcerated in our facilities," Cassidy said at a news conference at the Howard Area Community Center in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood on the North Side.

Joined by formerly incarcerated men and activists from the ONE Northside Violence Prevention Coalition, Cassidy said the legislation aims to turn the IDOC "into something whose mission is dedicated to the act of making someone better."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:18pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Chicago High Schoolers Rally For Climate Action, Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (VIDEO)

Chicago high schoolers held a climate action rally at the Thompson Center late Thursday afternoon to show their support for the Illinois Clean Jobs bill. The pending legislation is designed to strengthen statewide standards around energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Maria Sanchez, a Northside College Prep junior, was one of about a dozen students from various Chicago high schools at the rally.

"We think the clean energy jobs bill is something that will benefit our communities," she said. "In general, clean energy is the future, and if Illinois is able to become a leader in that, it's a step in the right direction."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:37pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Labor Market Still Tough For Today's Young Grads, But Their Job Prospects Are Brighter

Experts at the Economic Policy Institute say the U.S. labor market remains difficult for young high school and college graduates, but their job prospects are better than they were for the past several groups of students who graduated in the wake of the Great Recession.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:39pm
Thu May 7, 2015

College Grads Face Bleak Wage Landscape, A Breakdown Of Illinois Jobless Rates By Race

The average hourly wage for young female college graduates was a mere $16.56 in March -- just 1.2 percent higher than what was earned by the same demographic at the end of 1989, according to new data released by the Economic Policy Institute.

That's just one of the takeaways from EPI's analysis of wage trends for college and high school graduates, ranging from December of 1989 to March of 2015.

The wage figures -- issued ahead of Friday's jobs report for April -- provide a "glimpse at the future for the graduating class of 2015" and are part of a larger forthcoming EPI report on recent young graduates and the U.S. job market they face.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:04pm
Fri Jan 30, 2015

Illinois Ranks Poorly On Well-Being Indicators; African-American Jobless Rate

Progress Illinois takes a look at two new reports. One ranks Illinois on "key poverty indicators," while the other examines unemployment rates among racial groups in the state.

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