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Article: ‘Jobs Hard To Come By For Grads’
Below is an article from the Detroit News that highlights why jobs are hard to come by for graduates. Reading this, it makes me extremely blessed and very thankful to have my new career…
As thousands of Michigan college graduates pick up their diplomas in the aftermath of the worst downturn since the Depression, they’re finding that jobs remain scarce and the ones that are out there pay less, don’t offer a good career or don’t require a college education to begin with.
A survey released this week by the National Association of Colleges and Employers finds employment picking up for the first time since 2007 for new graduates, with employers planning to hire 19.3 percent more graduates in 2010-11 than they did in 2009-10.
But like everything else in the slow, staggering economic recovery, it’s only in a few spots and isn’t happening fast or soon enough to help new graduates struggling to pay off student loans, start a career and launch their lives.
“If someone graduates looking to be in the health care field or the service technology field, they’re not going to have a problem finding a job,” says Cindy Pasky, CEO of Strategic Staffing Services of Detroit. “The overall message is that it’s getting better, but it still has a way to go.”
When members of the Class of 2011 go to stand in the hiring line, they’ll find themselves bumping into about half of the Class of 2010. According to a recent study from Rutgers University, 90 percent of graduates from 2006 and 2007 had landed a first job, and 80 percent of graduates from 2008 or 2009. But barely more than half — 56 percent — of the class of 2010 had found work.
That’s the case for Kate Love of St. Johns, who graduated from Alma College in April with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
“I’ve heard research about how the class of 2011 would have a better chance of finding jobs out of all the graduates since the beginning of the recession, but it’s looking more and more impossible,” Love says.
Her job hunt reflects what many experts say: Most firms that are hiring look for experienced workers.
Big corporations have started hiring recent grads for training programs, and graduates with specific degrees that are in demand also have luck landing positions. But others are left waiting and hoping.
“I’m not getting interviews and most jobs are looking for three to five years of experience,” she says. “I’ve also applied for internships but I don’t get them because I’m overqualified. So I’m in the middle — with no experience or too much experience.”
Her friends and classmates also aren’t having much success.
“Most of my friends haven’t got a job yet,” Love says. “They either got them from their internships, or they haven’t gotten anything. Most of them are flipping burgers or working at retail stores, but nothing that’s especially interesting as a career.”
Grads struggle, study finds
That jibes with the Rutgers study, “Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy.” The study finds that only 44 percent of graduates since 2006 landed jobs closely related to their studies, and 17 percent took jobs that weren’t related to their college work at all. And while 27 percent of graduates found a job that put them solidly on a career path, the same number of grads took any job they could find just to get by.
“We lost 8 million jobs in the Great Recession,” says Cliff Zukin, a Rutgers University professor who co-authored the study. “Last month we created a quarter of a million jobs. If we do that for three years, we’ll still be behind. That’s how long and deep the recession was. And that doesn’t leave room for young people.”
Or for them to pay their student loans. Most students who graduated in May will have to start making payments after October. The Rutgers study found more than 60 percent of recent grads carrying loans with a median balance of $20,000.
“You see a lot of people resorting to going into a field they didn’t want to go into just to make ends meet,” says Marquis Herring of Detroit. “You’re forced to because, when you graduate, you know you have six months before those loans kick in. A lot of kids get a master’s degree, so their loans will go into deferment, and they can wait to find quality work.”
Herring graduated from Wayne State University in spring 2010, with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. He says he’s applied for 50 different jobs with no luck, despite having completed six unpaid internships during college. Now he’s carrying $30,000 in student loans, living with his mother and trying to get by with the same part-time job he had in college, teaching in the YouthVille youth development program. He picks up odd writing or editing jobs where he can.
“Something is always better than nothing,” he says. “But it’s definitely not what I need.”
Landing jobs, making less
Even when graduates do manage to land jobs, they’re making less than they would have just a few years ago. The Rutgers study found students landing their first jobs during 2009 and 2010 were hit with a 10 percent recession penalty. While the median salary of those finding jobs was $30,000 in 2006 and 2007, that dropped to $27,000 for grads who found work in 2009 and 2010.
It will take them up to a decade before the earnings of recession grads catch up to those who finished school during better times, says Abigail Wozniak, a labor economist and assistant professor at Notre Dame.
“People who started out in the bad economy are catching up to people who started out in a better economy,” she says. “It looks like they’re getting back on track, but it takes them longer to get there.”
The Rutgers study found a 39percent increase in the number of 2009-10 graduates who earned less than they expected, compared to graduates during the boom of 2006 and 2007. And there was a 64 percent increase in the number of recession-era grads who took jobs without health benefits, compared with those who got their bachelor’s during the boom.
Making ends meet
That includes Starr Williams, 25, who graduated from Adrian College in 2007, then spent six months student teaching to earn her teaching certificate. Now living with her parents in Berkley, she cobbles together part-time jobs teaching art and working in a private school library with a few substitute teaching assignments.
“The time together adds up to what I would spend at a full-time job, but it doesn’t pay as well and it’s without any benefits or the luxury of knowing what I’ll be doing day-to-day.”
She’s paid off her loans, which she took out in her last year of college as the economy crashed. She’s been trying to find a job as an art teacher, but schools aren’t only cutting back on teaching jobs, but on art classes, as well.
“I’ve been making my own art work and selling it online, and I did a couple of art shows last summer so I could sell pieces,” Williams says. “But again, that doesn’t really pay the bills.”
About Jayson SchmidtFounder of the Quarterlife movement. Building an empire for the glory of God and living my dream to make the name of Jesus famous. Get at me on Twitter (@JaysonSchmidt).
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Verse of the Week
––1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)