The end of the semester is upon us and, for many NSU students, the prospect of life beyond the classroom approaches.
Many of those graduating are planning their career dreams. They are creating their resumes and trying to set up interviews with future employers. But, unfortunately, the economy four years after the beginning of the Great Recession, hasn’t yet recovered.
For some in college now, they will, sadly, be either unemployed or working a job that only requires a high school degree when they graduate.
However pessimistic it sounds, the sad truth is that the economy is not producing anywhere close to enough jobs for the millions of new graduates who are entering the workforce every year.
According to the Associated Press analysis of government data, 53 percent of graduates with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed. The Department of Labor reports that in the year 2012 the average monthly rate of job growth from January to October was 125,000 jobs, hardly enough to keep up with population growth.
The economic collapse of the great recession cost 7 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A loss of a huge number of jobs in which many still remain unemployed.
Because of the incompetence of the Bush Administration that led to the breakdown of the economy in 2008, many Americans stuffered. Four years later, the mismanagement of President Obama’s first term administration in creating a strong recovery, the economy continues to be lackluster and job creation continues to be weak.
The system has totally failed the people. Students have worked hard in school all their lives and gone into huge amounts of debt from student loans, only to find that after graduation only a handful of “good jobs” are available for them.
Even among the professional class, joblessness is becoming the norm. Among 2011 law school graduates, half could not find a position in the legal field some nine months after finishing school, according to The Pew Research Center.
This situation has become so common that MTV created a new sitcom appropriately named “Underemployed”. The program follows five recent college graduates through the highs, lows, triumphs and humiliations of un-met career aspirations.
“Underemployed” is a pathetic reflection of our youth’s reality. All over the country, college graduates are forced to wait tables, flippburgers and work behind the register at retail stores to support themselves. Most of these jobs are minimum and low wage, with limited working hours and no employee benefits.
The economic conditions are so bad that some have to work two or three of these part-time and low wage jobs just to get by.
The unemployed and underemployment situations have become an epidemic in America. Today, graduates now move back home to live with their parents. Many now postpone the beginning of their careers to continue going to school because of the economy.
With the depressing news that Europe is back into recession and this country’s inability to solve its economic and debt problems, it’s easy for one to feel hopeless and there is good reason to be hopeless.
The United States of America needs jobs, good jobs to remain an economic superpower and expand and maintain its way of life. Jobs that not only college graduates can support themselves with, but jobs that contribute to our economy and our society.
It is wrong that over 43 percent of recent college graduates who do have jobs are working in positions that do not require a college education.
This is not forward; this is backwards, back to the time before the American dream. America cannot allow a generation to believe that their lives will be less successful than those of their parents.
This nation needs to return to the days when hard work actually meant you reaped the rewards of that work where you can support yourself with one job and live the American dream. Until that happens I will continue to ask where all the jobs have gone?