WASHINGTON — For the fifth straight year, a graduating class of American college students is staring straight at the Great Recession and blinking their eyes. College graduates no longer have the jobs promised to them when they applied to college.
Reuters provides anecdotes and first-hand accounts of college graduates across America, and all have one thing in common: joblessness. Today’s weak labor market, in conjunction with high unemployment, high number of part-time workers and those who have given up looking for jobs, perpetuates the effects of the Great Recession.
In the case of Stacey Kalivas, graduate of Bryant University in Rhode Island, she is moving back home after being rejected by 7 different financial firms. She hopes to be a financial analyst, but with the job market tightening up, even that is a pipe dream for now.
GDP growth is at a stagnant 2% and hiring graduates is at a new low of 2.1%. ObamaCare has forced employers to make their full-time employees part-time and restricted their hiring practices. Regulations are choking the American economy. Payroll taxes rose under Obama and are taking more money out of American’s wallets.
Students like Kalivas feel the pain of unemployment or underemployment. She said, “It’s frustrating because I feel like I will be more than qualified for the job description, but I am not even making it past the first stage”. In the words of Brian Dobson, a 29-year-old Iraq war veteran looking into lobbying or marketing, “Nobody is hiring or accepting interns”.
Unemployment among those under the age of 25 is 16.1%, which is more than double the national average. The underemployment rate, or those working part-time or looking for jobs, is at 18.3%.
Reuters compares it to 2007, where the unemployment rate was 5.7% and underemployment rate was 9.9%.
The trend of going to work below your skills set is known as “cyclical downgrading”, and it seems that this is here to stay in the current market and economic conditions. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) conducted a study and found that 52% of employed college graduates were working jobs that do not need a college degree in 2012, up from 47% in 2007.
On top of that, college graduates have loads of college debt, with the average being about $26,600 according to the non-profit Institute for College Access & Success.