Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ominous Employment Trends

The U.S. unemployment rate remains in the 9% range, the highest level in over 20 years. Clearly the inability to generate new jobs is one of the primary factors holding back an economic recovery.
It also appears that jobs for recent college graduates have been under significant pressure. Based on federal data reported on by the New York Times, only 74.4% of college grads under the age of 25 have a job as compared to 81% in 2000. Of course there can be factors such as more college grads pursuing graduate degrees which skew the data, but directionally it's a useful gauge. More telling is the fact than only 45.9% of those grads who are employed have a job actually requiring a degree, way down from 59.7% in 2000.

On a related note, there's some interesting research from the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University which tries to quantify the implications for college graduates entering the workforce during the current recession. One interesting, and logically inconsistent, finding has only 17% of graduates polled believing they will achieve more financial success than the previous generation, while only 20% believe that they will financially succeed less than their parents.

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