U.S. youths avoid school in favor of work during economic downturns

A new article published in Sociology of Education tests two long-running hypotheses about young adults’ decisions to work or enroll in school when facing economic downturns. The “discouraged worker” hypothesis suggests that young adults will enroll in school during downturns to avoid a poor job market, while the “encouraged worker” hypothesis suggests that youths will seek or retain employment in downturns to avoid the high costs of higher-ed enrollment. Using multi-country data that follows individuals over the course of ten years, the author concludes that in the U.S., youth are much more likely to leave school and not re-enroll in hard times, supporting the encouraged worker hypothesis. #workforce #education

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