Recent college graduates perform exceptionally well. Can it last?

Recent college graduates perform exceptionally well. Can it last?

They may be at the bottom of the alphabet, but Gen Z is smart enough to keep up.

What happened: The economy isn’t easy for the class of 2020 (and the years surrounding it), but thankfully, it’s getting better.

Students who graduated from college during the global pandemic, the recession it spawned and the chaotic economic environment left in its wake, have experienced a faster rebound in the labor market and stronger wage growth than any recovery in recent history, according to new research by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The unemployment rate for recent college graduates — workers between the ages of 21 and 24 — has recovered more than 2.5 times faster than after the Great Recession, researchers at the DC-based think tank found.

And recent graduates aren’t just looking for jobs, they’re looking for good jobs.

The underemployment rate for this cohort fully recovered just two years after the start of the epidemic.

Additionally, the report found, young graduates experienced inflation-adjusted wage growth for the first time this early in the recovery in at least three decades.

The labor market for recent college graduates is now stronger than before the pandemic, which EPI economists Katherine deCourcy and Elise Gould say “is a direct result of an aggressive fiscal policy response to the economic shock of the pandemic.”

Those who graduated during the 2008-2009 recession, meanwhile, have yet to fully recover from chronic unemployment.

What it means: Millennials may never be able to recoup the lost wages and career decline experienced during the Great Recession.

Those who graduated around the 2008 recession earned less money than other graduates for at least 10 to 15 years, according to a study published by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. That lack of earning power has delayed home buying, marriage and child rearing for the so-called millennial recession.

Gen Z doesn’t seem to have that problem. That could be a good thing for the strength of the consumer economy in the coming years.

It’s not all good: EPI study finds racial and gender wage gaps remain large among recent graduates.

On average, women are still paid $5.30 less an hour than their male counterparts, while Black and Hispanic workers are paid $3.24 and $2.07 less an hour than white workers, the study found.

And Gen Z is taking on more debt than their millennial counterparts at their age.

It also may not last long. Employer hiring projections for the class of 2024 are down 5.8% year over year, according to a LinkedIn study released Monday.

Shares of GameStop, AMC skyrocket after meme stock trader posts for first time in 3 years
The social media return that surprised traders that helped spark the meme stock frenzy in 2021 sent GameStop shares soaring on Monday, my colleague Krystal Hur reports.

The surge has nothing to do with the company’s troubled fundamentals — and everything to do with a cartoon of a player shared by trader Keith Gill, nicknamed Roaring Kitty, on X.

Shares of GameStop jumped 74% on Monday after an account run by Gill shared the meme on X, marking its first post in three years. The stock soared more than 110% earlier and was halted due to volatility several times on Monday morning.

Short sellers saw a $1 billion loss in bets against GameStop on Monday, according to data firm S3 Partners. Short sellers aim to turn a profit on a stock by borrowing the stock, selling it and returning it after buying it at a lower price.

Shares of AMC Entertainment, another meme stock, rose 78%. Reddit shares are up about 9%. Shares of trading platform Robinhood Markets, which suspended purchases of GameStop, AMC and other meme stocks during the frenzy in 2021, rose 4%.

The image Gill posted depicts a man reclining in a chair with a video game controller in hand. GameStop posted the same cartoon in February, but with blue arrows and chairs. In Gill’s cartoon, they are red. The meme is interpreted to convey, “when things get serious,” according to Know Your Meme.

Gill did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Shares of GameStop tripped multiple circuit breakers — temporary halts and mandates in trading to give investors a moment of peace. Robinhood denied claims on social media on Monday that it had once again stopped buying GameStop shares on the platform

“This is not right. Robinhood has not closed the purchase of Gamestop shares,” Robinhood spokeswoman Anupriya Ghate said in a statement to CNN. “GME saw high volatility and movement, which triggered market-wide exchange trading limits and halts. This is market-wide and not specific to Robinhood.”

Shein promised to deal with too much work. A new report claims 75 hour weeks are still the norm
More than a year after Shein promised to tackle excessive working hours in its supply chain, a new report shows the Chinese fast fashion company is still struggling.

Workers at some of the factories that supply Shein still work 75-hour weeks, according to an investigation by Public Eye, the Swiss human rights group that first highlighted the abuse allegations in 2021.

“The 75-hour week that we knew about two years ago still seems commonplace at Shein,” the Swiss organization said.

Public Eye interviewed 13 textile workers who worked at six factories in Guangzhou, a province in southern China, last summer. It found that staff worked an average of 12 hours a day, excluding lunch and dinner breaks, and usually for six or seven days a week.

Shein did not reveal the identity of his supplier, Public Eye said in its report. The group said it confirmed that the factory was a Shein supplier through the feedback of interviewees as well as the presence of Shein products.

In a statement to CNN Shein said that it “does not recognize many of the allegations in (Public Eye’s) report.”

“The Public Eye report is based on a sample of 13 interviewees and, while all voices in our supply chain are important, this small sample size should be seen in the context of our comprehensive ongoing process to continually improve our supply chain, which involves engaging with thousands -thousands of suppliers and workers in the supply chain,” he added.

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