“Just as a bachelor’s degree gives current applicants for bartender jobs an edge over those with just a high-school diploma, so a master’s degree holder will have an advantage over those with a mere bachelor’s degree,” the study’s authors write.
“My generation is suffering disproportionately,” said Terence Grado, director of National and State Policy at Generation Opportunity.
The result of this economic condition will manifest in a number of ways.
Former Reagan budget director David Stockman suggested the younger generation’s debt burden will inhibit their ability to buy a home until much later, thus contributing to the stall in the housing market.
Signs from National Association of Home Builders maintain confidence in the housing market is steady, though artificially low interest rates and speculation have Stockman concerned.
“As soon as the Fed has to normalize interest rates, housing prices will stop appreciating and they’ll probably head down,” he said.
Another trend that may start to show its true power is the decline in American birthrate. Though a natural trend during recessions, the birthrate has not seemed to rebound with the economy.
“Some analysts now wonder if the unprecedented scale of early indebtedness stemming from student loans, affecting nearly one-quarter of the overall US populace of childbearing age, has become a permanent deterrent to parenthood,” the Christian Science Monitor reports.
28-year-old recent law school graduate Karen Hu is facing this very dilemma. While she and her husband, a software programmer, have begun considering having kids, there are a few things holding them back. For one, Hu has had difficulty finding a good job in the post-recession economy.
Couple that with her student debt of $164,000 with monthly payments of $818, “Children just don’t fit into that scenario,” Hu says.