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Trapped in the city

2015-03-03 16:09 语泉外语     字号 [] [] []  
As more and more young Chinese complete their exodus from major metropolises to less polluted small towns, their counterparts in the US are increasingly[ɪn'kriːsɪŋlɪ] finding themselves stuck [stʌk] in big cities. For decades, young people in the US flocked to New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to build their careers before taking their earnings into the suburbs ['sʌbə:b] to raise families. That pattern ['pæt(ə)n] appears to be fading ['feɪdɪŋ] now, as more young workers are staying put, a Wall Street Journal story reported recently. 
 
According to an analysis of census ['sensəs] data by the Brookings Institution and The Wall Street Journal, from 2004 to 2007, before the recession [rɪ'seʃ(ə)n] , an average of about 50,000 adults aged 25 to 34 left both the New York and Los Angeles metro ['metrəʊ] areas annually ['ænjʊəlɪ; 'ænjʊlɪ].
 
The recession diminished [dɪ'mɪnɪʃt] this flow. Fewer than 23,000 young adults left New York annually between 2010 and 2013. Only about 12,000 left Los Angeles — a drop of nearly 80 percent from before the recession. Chicago’s departures[di'pa:tʃəz] dropped about 60 percent. 
 
Big cities offer many of the highest-paying jobs for a generation that was starting or just settling into their careers when the recession hit, an Atlantic [æt'læntɪk] article pointed out.
 
But after young people have lived in a big city for a few years, they find it increasingly difficult to get an economic foothold that would allow them to leave. 
 
Negative ['negətɪv] implications [ɪmplɪ'keɪʃ(ə)n]  
 
Median ['miːdɪən] earnings for full-time US workers aged 18 to 34 have fallen nearly 10 percent since 2000, after adjusting for inflation [ɪn'fleɪʃ(ə)n] , to below 1980s levels, according to The Wall Street Journal. This drop means young people, many of whom are also shouldering big student loan [ləʊn] debt, have had a hard time saving money and building the good credit needed to secure a mortgage ['mɔːgɪdʒ] and buy a house elsewhere [els'weə; 'elsweə] . 
 
The mobility [məʊ'bɪlətɪ] of young workers has been a tremendous [trɪ'mendəs] asset to the US economy, according to The Atlantic article. In previous decades, cities like New York and Los Angeles attracted 20-somethings with educational or professional opportunities, and then those 20-somethings would migrate [maɪ'greɪt; 'maɪgreɪt] to places where they could settle down with a family and buy a spacious house after a few years in the city. This geographic dispersal [dɪ'spɜːsl] of highly-skilled workers meant that the gains of states with stronger economies could be spread to those with weaker ones. 
 
But on the other hand, this new trend might have negative implications for the economy, according to The Wall Street Journal story. Roughly ['rʌflɪ] 1 in 7 young adults lives in the US’ three biggest metropolises, which have massive populations compared with most US cities. If younger people move less, some could get stuck in jobs that aren’t good matches for them, reducing the economy’s productivity. That could make the labor force less flexible and less able to compete internationally in an era of rapid technological change and globalization, according to The Wall Street Journal story. 
 
 
 
 
生词:
 
Exodus ['eks?d?s]
n. 《出埃及记》(《圣经》第二卷)
 
 
counterpart ['kaunt?,pɑ:t]
n. 副本;配对物;极相似的人或物
 
 
cunsus []
 
foothold ['fut,h?uld]
n. 据点;立足处
 
 
mortgage ['m?:ɡid?]
vt. 抵押n. 抵押
 
译文:
在中国,越来越多的年轻人逃离大城市,移居环境较好的小城镇;与此同时,在美国,却有越来越多的年轻人发现自己被困在了大城市。 过去的几十年间,美国的年轻人蜂拥至纽约、洛杉矶和芝加哥立业,然后带着积蓄到城郊安家落户。而据《华尔街日报》报道,现在这种模式已经没落,更多的年轻人仍留在城里。 据布鲁金斯学会与《华尔街日报》的人口普查分析显示,自2004年至2007年,也就是经济衰退之前,每年平均约5万年龄在25-34岁之间的年轻人离开纽约、洛杉矶等大城市。 随着经济衰退,这一数字也开始下降。2010年至2013年间,每年离开纽约的年轻人只有不到2.3万。而离开洛杉矶的人数相较衰退前则几乎缩水了80%,只有1.2万人。离开芝加哥的人数则下降了60%左右。 《大西洋月刊》报道指出,经济衰退来临时,大城市为事业刚刚起步的年轻人提供了很多高薪的就业机会。但是,当这些年轻人在大城市生活几年之后,他们就会发现自己很难拥有离开大城市的经济基础。 
 
消极的后果 
 
根据《华尔街日报》的报道,自2000年以来,美国18至34岁全职者收入中值下降了近10%,调整通货膨胀率之后,这一数字还不及1980年代的水平。他们中的很多人还身负巨额助学贷款。这意味着他们将很难有所积蓄、或是拥有良好的信用来获得抵押贷款、在别处买房安家。如《大西洋月刊》在一篇文章中所写,美国年轻劳动力的流动性一直是美国经济的巨大财产。在过去的几十年间,很多二十来岁的年轻人都去往纽约、洛杉矶等大城市,以获得优越的教育和工作机会,并在工作几年之后移居他处,置豪宅成家安居。而这样高技术人口的迁移,也让财富从经济较好的州流向经济贫弱的地区。《华尔街日报》报道称,现在(年轻人不再迁移)的趋势或将对美国经济带来消极影响。在美国,每七个年轻人中就有一人身处美国最大的三座城市之一,而这些城市的人口规模已经远远超出了美国其他城市。如果这些年轻人安于现状,那么他们中的一些人将会从事不那么适合自己的工作,从而降低整体经济生产力。这不仅会降低劳动力的弹性,甚至会使其在这个科技快速变化与经济全球化的年代失去国际竞争力。  

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