More evidence that the dramatic rise in student loan debt will probably end very badly someday comes via this CNN/Money report on America’s youth who, increasingly, have opted to stay out of the labor market. A weak economy has been an important factor in recent years but, as shown below, other secular trends are well established, so much so that you have to look hard to pick out where the 2008-2009 recession occurred.
More students attending college and pursuing advanced degrees is another key driver of this trend as 25 percent more Americans are seeking higher education today than in 2000, about double the population growth during that time. Amid soaring college costs, access to student loans has remained the easiest type of credit to get in the U.S. and this has facilitated the big increase in college attendance.
Per the latest Labor Department data for Americans age 25 and older, the jobless rate falls from 10.3 percent for those with no high school degree to just 3.7 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, so, there is a strong case to be made for higher education, however, that education now comes with a much higher price tag.