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Young Workers Earn Less, Report Claims

Will she earn less because she's young?

Earning less?

Young workers in Pennsylvania – those between the ages of 18 and 29 – earn 10 percent less money in their jobs than the same group did 30 years ago, according to a recently released study.

The report, jointly issued last month by the Harrisburg PA-based Keystone Research Center and the Center for Economic Policy and Research in Washington DC, claims that a typical young worker here earns $1.24 per hour less than did similar workers in 1979, after adjusting for inflation. The decline occurred even though the state’s young workforce today is better educated; the share of 18-to-29-year-olds with at least a four-year college degree increased from 13 percent to 22 percent between 1979 and 2007, it said.

Mark Price, a labor economist for Keystone, contends that greater union represenation of young workers would help reverse what he described as “wage stagnation.” Between 2004 and 2007, according to the report, about 10 percent of young Pennsylvania workers were represented by unions.

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