Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ohio's Young Adults Face Narrowing Path to Middle Class

With appreciation to PCSAO for sharing this update:

Policy Matters Ohio and Dēmos hosted an event yesterday in Cleveland to examine findings from their recent report, Building Ohio’s Middle Class: Addressing the Challenges Facing Young Adults.

This report shows opportunity has expanded in some important areas (college enrollment, women’s income), but at the same time there are some overall trends that are troubling:

Postsecondary Education
  • Just over half (55 percent) of Ohio students at four-year institutions graduate within six years, and only a quarter of two-year students graduate within three years. Many students who leave college without a degree have student loan debt.
  • Young adults from high-income families in Ohio are three times more likely to enroll in college than low-income young people, and there is a 14 percentage point gap between enrollment rates for young whites and young African Americans.
  • Disparities in graduation rates by income and race are even higher.
Employment and Earnings
  • Earnings of full-time workers under age 35 in Ohio are substantially lower today than a generation ago, except in the case of women with a college degree.
  •  Among workers under age 35, the unionization rate in Ohio declined from 21 to 10 percent over the last 25 years.
Debt and Assets
  • Two thirds of Ohio college graduates carry student loan debt. Of those, their average debt, just from public sources, is $23,854.
  • Although housing prices are more affordable in Ohio than in some other regions, adults ages 25 to 34 spent a third of their incomes (34 percent) on rent in 2007.
Raising a Family
  • The average annual price of full-time center-based child care for two preschool-age children (an infant and a four-year-old) in Ohio is $16,724.
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of children under age 6 in Ohio are growing up in a low- income family, with income of $44,000 or less.
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