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In “The Recession Generation,” The Seattle Times explores the experiences of young people who entered the job market during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

To tell the story, we conducted an informal, online survey of students who graduated in 2005 from three Puget Sound-area high schools where the economic and racial diversity is similar to state averages: Hazen in Renton, Shorecrest in Shoreline and Sammamish in Bellevue.

The unscientific survey was distributed through Facebook groups we created for each class. Because so many of the respondents — 118 of 160 — were from Hazen, we focused primarily on that school.

Along with their responses, we looked at several national surveys conducted recently on a scientific basis.

Taken together, the findings portray what for many has been a rough ride into adulthood. We mined the data for patterns and for personal stories that best reflect the trends, presenting those experiences in words, photographs and videos.

The project is intended to be the start of an ongoing conversation, with opportunities to engage readers about their own stories. On June 6 the newspaper plans to hold a special event to bring young adults together with experts to advise them.