Skip to comments.53% of New Graduates are Jobless or Underemployed
Posted on 04/26/2012 6:10:20 AM PDT by Kaslin
The USA Today reports graduating class of 2012 is in for a rude awakening as Half of new graduates are jobless or underemployed.
A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge.
Young adults with bachelor's degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example and that's confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.
Median wages for those with bachelor's degrees are down from 2000, hit by technological changes that are eliminating midlevel jobs such as bank tellers. Most future job openings are projected to be in lower-skilled positions such as home health aides, who can provide personalized attention as the U.S. population ages.
Taking underemployment into consideration, the job prospects for bachelor's degree holders fell last year to the lowest level in more than a decade. "I don't even know what I'm looking for," says Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree.
About 1.5 million, or 53.6%, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41%, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields.
Out of the 1.5 million who languished in the job market, about half were underemployed, an increase from the previous year. Broken down by occupation, young college graduates were heavily represented in jobs that require a high school diploma or less. In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000). There were more working in office-related jobs such as receptionist or payroll clerk than in all computer professional jobs (163,000 versus 100,000). More also were employed as cashiers, retail clerks and customer representatives than engineers (125,000 versus 80,000).
According to government projections released last month, only three of the 30 occupations with the largest projected number of job openings by 2020 will require a bachelor's degree or higher to fill the position teachers, college professors and accountants. Most job openings are in professions such as retail sales, fast food and truck driving, jobs which aren't easily replaced by computers.Useless Degrees
The USA Today talks about the "underemployed". Is that really what's going on?
Just what job does someone majoring in Political Science, English, History, Social Studies, Creative Writing, Art, etc., etc., etc., expect to get?
Arguably, graduates in those majors (and many more) should be thankful to get any job. Therefore, those who do land a job should therefore be considered fully employed, not underemployed.
In turn, this means a college education now has a negative payback for most degrees.
Bledsoe, currently making just above minimum wage, says he has received financial help from his parents to help pay off student loans. He is now mulling whether to go to graduate school, seeing few other options to advance his career. "There is not much out there, it seems," he said. There is nothing out there for many degrees which means that going to graduate school will do nothing but waste more money. Nurses are still in demand, but technology and engineering majors are crapshoots. If you can land a technology or engineering job it is likely to be high paying, but if not, the next step is retail sales.
Who Benefits From Student Aid?
Students get no benefit from "student aid". Rather, teachers, administrators, and corrupt for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix do.
Obama wants to throw more money at education, and that is exactly the wrong thing to do. Instead, I propose stopping student aid programs and accrediting more online schools to lower the cost of education so that degrees do not have negative payback.
Sadly, there is a trillion dollar student loan bubble, and that debt overhang will negatively impact the economy for years to come. Let's not make the problem worse. It's time to kill the inappropriately named "student aid" program.
A dismal stat, but do they ever get around to splitting the jobless and the underemployed? It'd be more meaningful to see to two separately. Didn't see that wile scanning the article.
Good! Little Che t-shirt wearing, Marxist voting a-holes! Learn to love it! You voted for it!
This is the reality of the world that a lot of these kids wanted when they supported Obama. Socialism and taking from the rich sounds good in theory. Getting degrees in Social Work and Wymyns Studies and going to work to help the disadvantaged sounds good in theory. And then reality smacks you in the face — there are no jobs. When everyone is sitting on their ass unemployed because they have a Social Work degree, no one is generating the income to pay for the rest of society to live. We are running out of other peoples’ money.
Well, if they’d gone for a 2-year degree in autobody repair instead of a 4/6-year degree in Expressive Dance or Women’s Studies for the New Millenia...
Hope and Change, clowns! You went to “college” and got a “degree” in something that was never designed to make money, especially now that 1000000000000 other Gen-Y dupes got the same thing. Maybe if you were smart enough to go into something with a demand, and not have been so stupid to vote for O, you might actually have a chance.
Enjoy your college debt. Oh, and where’s my damn fries?
HOPE AND CHANGE! has become HOPE THEY’LL LEAVE SOME CHANGE ON THE TABLE FOR A TIP FOR ME!
If you want to stretch your brain,
Then you must endure the pain.
Pain at the Bank,
And pain at your desk,
Succeed or perish that is the test.
The pain at the Bank
Was of Obamas design,
So work to pay back
What you borrowed from us.
And never look up,
Til youve earned our trust.
It would be interesting to learn what their degrees are in. I wonder how many are in technical fields.
Even an MCSE isn’t a guarantee for work. I’m a Windows/VMWare engineer with a BA in English and a graduate certificate in professional writing. If you have IT background/experience and can write, there’s a HUGE demand for you. I’m proof of that.
Even my former boss told me, “Once a 14 year old Chinese girl got an MCSE, it grew to mean ‘Must Consult Someone Else.’”
Raw tech skills aren’t hard to learn. Experience in large scale enterprise environments or with specific hardware and software is another story, and that’s what employers seek nowadays.
Information Technology, in general, isn’t necessarily populated with college degree holding workers. Most of my co-workers don’t have degrees or they aren’t in related fields (mine included), but they know systems and methodologies better than any comp sci major fresh out of undergrad.
Not every college kid voted for 0. I for one knew exactly what his presidency would mean for my job, my ability to pay off my college debt, and my ability to get out on my own.
I graduated in the summer of 2008 right when the bottom fell out, and not everyone can be an engineer or a doctor, so some of us who are more creative or struggled with math and science and wanted to go to into careers that suit our talents couldn’t find a job in those fields and ended up unemployed because there wasn’t much professional work available. It took me two and a half years to find my first “real job” after working two jobs part time to get me experience (many jobs after the bank crash weren’t entry level and many of them wanted 3 years of experience) for the field I wanted to get into: marketing. Happy to say I’m now employed as a Marketing Associate and while I wish this would have happened a couple years earlier I just have to grudgingly admit that sometimes life gives you a challenge and that you just have to work hard and stick it out to do what you want to do and be where you want to be.
I’m part of Gen Y, I didn’t want this economic apocalypse, I voted against 0 and I have sympathy for those in my generation who saw the same thing and are now struggling to get work. The others in my gen who support this guy are idiots, but for those who woke up I feel for them, and maybe, hopefully they learned an important lesson. My point is, is that not all Gen Yers are libs, if anything this economy might be a grand awakening for many of them. The ones who are now demanding handouts (and it isn’t all of us, I have debt, but I will pay it off without government aid) are the same idiots who would vote for this clown regardless. Some of us, a lot of us, want to have careers, start a family, and live a better life.
You are absolutely right, erod!
Goodness knows the nightmare you guys are have to put up with after having to put up with years of the college circus.
The most important lesson these kids can learn is what they should hope for, and then explore the basis for their hope.
Where are the so called good jobs? Why the debt? Those questions aren’t important. All we need is good business ideas. Steve Jobs said the big mistake many corporate executives make (and Sculley did it while running Apple) is giving priority to making money as opposed to making the best products.
We need idea talk, not money talk and unemployment talk. I was inspired last night to learn that a television manufacturing plant has opened in Detroit. Can’t remember the brand name. The boxes containing the televisions have “Made in America” in large type and a red, white and blue flag-like background. If I needed a TV, I’d go buy one of these things.
The founders of this company were propelled by an idea. They brought together the designs, the parts, the manufacturing equipment, the employees, the financing, etc. Sounds like hard work, huh? They’re taking some risk, too.
I daresay these leaders are nuts and bolts people, not financiers and economists.
Gee, isn’t 53% the percentage of people who pay no federal income taxes or get a federal income tax “refund” called the earned income tax credit? Coincidence, or maybe it has something to do with the fact that so many people “earn” degrees that qualify them for nothing more than they were were qualified to do when the received their high school diplomas?
This is a key point. I am speaking to all of you who post on these kinds of threads, "Well, they should have gone for an engineering degree"; I see that often and if you reflect upon it, you can see the ridiculousness of such a statement. Not everyone has the capability of being an engineer (for one thing that requires the ability to handle the higher maths and not everyone can). It should be obvious but I guess it isn't.
Good point. If all of a sudden there is a huge spike in engineering grads, the prevailing salary of an entry-level engineer will go down and many will still be out of work because there are only a finite number of engineering jobs available.
That’s not bad since more than 53% have worthless degrees, are illiterate, and can’t dress themselves.