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Saturday, May 22, 2010 11:38 AM


College Grads about to Flood Labor Market; Class of 2009 Still Without Jobs in Deep Trouble


The 2009 college graduates still without a job are in deep trouble as a wave of 2010 grads is on the way. Please consider College Grads Flood U.S. Labor Market With Diminished Prospects

Ten months after graduating from Ohio State University with a civil-engineering degree and three internships, Matt Grant finally has a job -- as a banquet waiter at a Clarion Inn near Akron, Ohio.

“It’s discouraging right now,” said the 24-year-old, who sent out more than 100 applications for engineering positions. “It’s getting closer to the Class of 2010, their graduation date. I’m starting to worry more.”

Schools from Grant’s alma mater to Harvard University will soon begin sending a wave of more than 1.6 million men and women with bachelor’s degrees into a labor market with a 9.9 percent jobless rate, according to the Education and Labor departments. While the economy is improving, unemployment is near a 26-year high, rising last month from 9.7 percent in January-March as more Americans entered the workforce.

The scramble for jobs may depress earnings of new and recent college graduates for years to come and handicap their future career opportunities, according to Lisa Kahn, an assistant professor of economics at Yale University’s School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut. It also might hurt Democrats in the November Congressional elections, as the young voters who helped propel the party to power in 2008 grow disenchanted with their economic prospects.

“More so in the last year to 18 months than at any time, we have seen applicants from prior graduating classes looking for the kind of entry-level jobs we’re recruiting for,” said Dan Black, director of campus recruiting for Ernst & Young LLP, a professional-services firm headquartered in New York. “There are a lot more cohorts competing with each other: ‘09 with ‘10, probably ‘10 with ‘11.”

Unemployment among people under 25 years old was 19.6 percent in April, the highest level since the Labor Department began tracking the data in 1948. Their economic travails may haunt Democrats in the November midterm elections. The youthful voters who helped propel the party to victory in the 2006 Congressional elections and gave the 2008 Obama campaign much of its vibrancy are showing signs of waning enthusiasm.

Democrats held a 62 percent to 30 percent advantage over Republicans in 2008 among “millennials,” born after 1980, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in Washington D.C. Their 32-point margin shrank to 18 points this year, with 55 percent leaning Democratic and 37 percent Republican, based on polls taken from January through April.

Thirty-three percent of Harvard’s graduating seniors had accepted a job as of commencement last year, down from 51 percent the year before. The survey results for this year’s class haven’t been released.
Just as many of the long-term unemployed will never get another job in their field, instead relegated to taking jobs in the retail or restaurant industries, the same is likely to happen to the 2008-2010 graduates who do not find a job for a year, with wave after wave of new graduates on the way.

President Obama wants to fight this with more college grants as if sending more people to college is a cure for a glut of grads without job prospects.

Moreover, training plumbers to be java programmers (or vice versa) will do nothing but waste money while offering false hope and a burden of long-term student debt that cannot be paid back.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com
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