1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed

From CNS News.


 The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

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.

An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor’s degrees.

Opportunities for college graduates vary widely.

While there’s strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. 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.

[…]You can make more money on average if you go to college, but it’s not true for everybody,” says Harvard economist Richard Freeman, noting the growing risk of a debt bubble with total U.S. student loan debt surpassing $1 trillion. “If you’re not sure what you’re going to be doing, it probably bodes well to take some job, if you can get one, and get a sense first of what you want from college.”

Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University who analyzed the numbers, said many people with a bachelor’s degree face a double whammy of rising tuition and poor job outcomes. “Simply put, we’re failing kids coming out of college,” he said, emphasizing that when it comes to jobs, a college major can make all the difference. “We’re going to need a lot better job growth and connections to the labor market, otherwise college debt will grow.”

That bit about getting a job so you know what you need to study. It’s important to get a job – any job – so that you understand what you are supposed to be learning in high school and college – what employers want! The next most important thing is to have a career mentor – someone to steer you away from subjects like English and ballet and into engineering and science. A trade school is another good choice: nursing or electrical wiring or something like that. Something valuable that employers need – that should be the deciding factor – what employers want you to do for them. Here’s a page listing degrees and expected incomes. Engineering, medicine and computer science are the three best fields.

I am still trying to puzzle out why young people vote for Democrats so much. I think that they have been brainwashed to think that making moral judgments is wrong, so they keep voting against Republicans who pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-family and pro-personal responsibility. That’s what teachers tell them in school – don’t have any moral standards, don’t make any moral judgments, let the government spend your money for you to be more “fair”, etc. So young people vote for Democrats. But voting for Democrats doesn’t just weaken the social fabric, it also wrecks the economy. Who do young people expect to work for when they keep voting to bash corporations all the time? Corporations hire young people. It seems stupid to vote against the people who want to pay you to do work.

Now that I think about it, it might be a good idea for social conservatives to be ready to make a case for free market capitalism and limited government, using evidence like this that shows how socialism fails to create economic growth and jobs. Even if people vote for conservatism based on fiscal concerns or foreign policy concerns, it’s still going to be helpful to social conservatives. We need to be like Paul and be able to speak intelligently to any audience on a wider variety of topics. Also, I think it helps social conservatives to be seen as competent in areas outside of social conservatism – it’s important to have a well-rounded worldview in order to not be perceived as being narrow-minded and ideologically motivated.

13 thoughts on “1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed”

      1. All I hear is “bla bla bla Barnes paper on fine-tuning bla bla to fail.” I don’t think I speak whatever language that is.

        Thanks. :)


        1. LOL! Next time I see you on Facebook, I will explain it to you. Your assembly language class will help you. UTF-8 is a system for representing characters in bytes, and XML is a flexible language for encoding metadata in plain text so that it can be transmitted and stored in a human readable format. It is used for performing method calls between vendors, e.g. – web services.


  1. Stuart Schneiderman:

    Knowing how we got here might help us to solve the problem, but not necessarily. Unfortunately, the problem is complex.

    On one side the economy has not generated job growth at anything approximating the normal post-recession rate.

    Some of this has to do with government policy. Some has to do with the migration of jobs overseas.

    On the other side young people who major in the humanities are being rendered ergonomically dysfunctional.

    Even if there were jobs, many of these young people would not qualify. They have acquired so many bad habits, both mental and behavioral, that very few companies would want to hire them.

    By happenstance, yesterday I also came across a fascinating article by Prof. Janice Fiamengo. Writing about her experience teaching English literature in Canada, Fiamengo bemoans her students’ attitude.

    In her words:

    I was up against it: the attitude of entitlement rampant amongst university students and nurtured by the utopian ideology that permeates modern pedagogy, in which the imposition of rules and identification of errors are thought to limit student creativity and the fostering of a hollow self-esteem takes precedence over the building of skills on which genuine self-respect might be established. In the Humanities subjects in particular — and in English especially, the discipline I know best — such a philosophy has led to a perilous watering down of course content, with self-validation seen as more important than the mastery of specific knowledge.

    Forget about whether or not these students will ever learn anything consequential about English literature. You should ask yourself how these students will develop the temperament, the attitude and the work ethic that would make them valuable employees to your company.

    More likely, you read her article and start thinking about how you can outsource jobs to nations whose students have a work ethic.


    1. I think in this excellent comment you start to understand why people vote dem and I can provide a limited insight. My wife works as you know and this is very common. While there was a period when women wanted to work because it made them feel empowered, there was also a need for many to work, and I’m talking about married women, if they ever wanted to get out of their parents/inlaws houses and start a life of their own. In America, we seem to approve of extended family scenarios, so few couples would consider having kids until they’re financialy stable and on their own. the only way to do that and afford the average $220,000 house (pre-collapse, I know prices have come down, but not much if you ignore the rust belt cities). Even if they were to buy the cheapest cars they could, and that too is “un-American”, the gas insurance, food, utilities would be more than the average income earner could afford. I haven’t even added in the cost of the [sarcasm]must-haves[/sarcasm] like cell phones, internet, and cable TV. Food, health insurance, and the various other required insurances would bury a single family income earner unless they lived in the most remote areas – those areas that don’t have jobs. Our entire economy is predicated on the fact that both the husband and the wife must work. There was an article on one of the newsites the other day that was talking about how even double income families can’t afford to have more than one kid and the right wing was lambasting them for being irresponsible for wanting to have two kids – as if only the rich are entitled to reproduce.

      So let me bring it full-circle – the reason you have these spoiled, self-centered young adults who are ill-prepared for the real world is because we’ve created a society that requires both parents to work so much and a culture of consumerism that people are substituting for parenting. Can’t see your kids and interact as much as you would like, attempt to by their love at America’s new religious temples – the mall (I just saw an older documentary that had lamented that more Americans go to the mall every week than go to religious buildings [church, temple, etc]).

      So I don’t think it’s socialism that failing, not that I support it, but I think it’s the right’s push for rabid free-market capitalism and consumerism that is eating away at this country’s moral compass


        1. requiring industry and frugality are contradictory – who is industry going to sell their products to if no one spends?

          That’s the problem with unrestricted free market capitalism (FMC) – it needs new consumers at any cost, that cost lately being the American family and younger and younger generations. The documentary I was referring too was “Affluenza”. Its circa 1997 but you can find it on Netflix. They had several of the large Christian organizations on there, one I remember being Focus on the family. They were guarded with their wording and while they officially support FMC, they felt there needed to be some type of restriction as it was driving families apart and creating a generation of entitlement.


  2. You make some excellent points. I guess I should just be glad that I’ve gone into medicine, haha.

    But more to the point, this post reminded me of a recent article I read in the WSJ (the same 3-letter abbreviation for my own blog…not entirely by accident).

    Here’s the link:


    And the relevant bits:

    “The prerequisite for any eventual policy solution consists of a simple cultural change: It must once again be taken for granted that a male in the prime of life who isn’t even looking for work is behaving badly. There can be exceptions for those who are genuinely unable to work or are house husbands. But reasonably healthy working-age males who aren’t working or even looking for work, who live off their girlfriends, families or the state, must once again be openly regarded by their fellow citizens as lazy, irresponsible and unmanly. Whatever their social class, they are, for want of a better word, bums.

    To bring about this cultural change, we must change the language that we use whenever the topic of feckless men comes up. Don’t call them “demoralized.” Call them whatever derogatory word you prefer. Equally important: Start treating the men who aren’t feckless with respect. Recognize that the guy who works on your lawn every week is morally superior in this regard to your neighbor’s college-educated son who won’t take a “demeaning” job. Be willing to say so.”



  3. WK, I’m back. A few months ago you posted about Law graduates not being able to get employment and you gave insight into what would make an employable graduate- A Science, Math and Computers person. And I asked you how a law graduate who has very basic science skills could branch into those fields and put food on her table and you spoke about IP- which I like but I just wanted to pick your brain on something I found. How about an LLM in Mineral Law and Policy focussing on Petroleum resources bla bla bla?
    Awaiting your wisdom…


    1. I can’t make a reliable guess, however the best paying field out there is Petroleum engineering. So just on the surface of it, I would say this was a home run.


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