There's 'minimal excess slack' for Americans who graduated college or started a career during the Great Recession, Goldman says.

Despite strong U.S. employment levels and labor utilization measures, weaker-than-expected wage growth has some economists pointing fingers at the group that came of age during the Great Recession. Here's why Goldman Sachs (GS) thinks they might be wrong.

Goldman economists said Americans who graduated college or began careers during the economic downturn would be a "natural place" to find excess slack.

Research shows that wages drag 1% to 13% for those who graduated during a recession. Underemployment rates climbed 50% for a short time among recent college grads during the Great Recession as unemployment in the group rose sharply from 2007 to 2010.

But since then, jobless rates have improved "dramatically" and the unemployment rate for the group is under the national average. Relative wages have partially recovered and utilization measures suggest "minimal excess slack remains in this cohort," Goldman said.

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