The number of college graduates in minimum wage jobs also doubled during the recession to 284,000 in 2012 from 2007. Stuck in low-wage or part-time jobs with mountains of student loans to pay off, the generation that came of age in the new millennium finds itself in a hopeless situation. Despite being better educated than previous generations, many young people are shut out of the middle class with no road map of how to get there. So many of them are joining protests, showing up at rallies, or forming unions to improve their situation.

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