The recession will mean paltry pay for the Class of '09 for many years to come, economists tell the Wall Street Journal. College grads are entering the toughest labor market in 25 years and competition is driving down starting wages for those lucky enough to land jobs, an effect research shows can linger for up to 15 years.
A survey of workers who graduated in the 1980 recession found that they earned 7% to 8% less in their first year at work than grads from better times and were still earning around 5% less 12 years later. Economists say the trend is largely due to recession grads having to accept lower-grade jobs than they would otherwise have done, meaning they take years longer to acquire saleable skills than those who finished college in boom times.
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