Occupy Study: Well-Educated Professionals Outnumbered Jobless

Video: Occupy protesters march in protest in September 2011. Some of the findings included in a newly-released study(pdf) conducted by sociologists at the City University of New York, that looked at the backgrounds and motivations of Occupy

Video: Occupy protesters march in protest in September 2011.

Some of the findings included in a newly-released study(pdf) conducted by sociologists at the City University of New York, that looked at the backgrounds and motivations of Occupy supporters as well as the impact of the movement may make a few conservative pompous windbag heads explode.

*Gasp* They had jobs!

  • More than a third of the people who participated in Occupy Wall Street protests in New York lived in households with annual incomes of $100,000 or more, and more than two-thirds had professional jobs.
  • Nearly 80 percent had at least a bachelor’s degree, and about half of those with bachelor’s degrees had a graduate degree.
  • Many participants in the movement had been involved in previous political demonstrations, and far from being spontaneous, the Occupy Wall Street protests were carefully planned.
  • Nearly a third of the protesters had been laid off or lost a job, and a similar number said they had more than $1,000 in credit card or student loan debt.
  • Researchers found that a significant percentage of Occupy participants were underemployed, with nearly a quarter working fewer than 35 hours a week.

Prof. Stephanie Luce, one of the study's three authors, characterized the protesters who had problems finding full-time work as part of an emerging demographic that some commentators call the “precariat,” educated people forced into unsteady or insecure jobs because little else is available.

About Diane Sweet

Diane Sweet's picture
Senior Editor, Lives in a gerrymandered district in Michigan.

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