Before the recession, recent four-year college graduates earned $681 per week on average. After the recession, that figure had declined 5 percent to $645. But for associate's degree holders, average wages fell 12 percent, from $512 to $452, and for high school graduates they fell 10 percent, from $438 to $394.

In short, being born around the late 1980s put you on track to finish school at the worst time in memory to be a newly minted graduate. The only thing worse? Not being one.

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Online: www.pewstates.org

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