Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Michigan College Graduates Struggle to Find Jobs

Michigan's unemployment rate is 10.9 %. That is a little over 1 % more then the national unemployment rate. This means that college graduates are not only fighting to join an already struggling work force, but they are losing jobs to more experienced candidates for entry level positions.

The jobless rate in America is at its highest since the 1970’s. Keep in mind that this was when the U.S. government just started keeping records. College graduates are facing very difficult challenges then the previous generation. The most recent graduating class is known as Generation Y. Generation Y is arguably the most educated generation and yet cannot find jobs.

Recent Oakland University graduate, Amanda Davis, is struggling to get her career started. She received her BA in Journalism in 2011. She was hoping to join a PR firm. Sadly many of the offers she has received have been commission-based only jobs. She often finds herself frustrated trying to find a job.

“It's pretty ridiculous that we work so hard” said Davis. “It's not about how hard you work now. It's about who you know.”

She has applied for over 100 jobs and has no success. She is not alone either.

Unemployment among recent college graduates is at an all time high. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 37 % of Americans between the ages of 18-29 have either been unemployed or underemployed at some point during the recession.

The problem, of course, has to do with timing and the recession. Recent graduates are competing against one another, as well as competing against laid off workers.

With college education becoming a requirement for most jobs more and more Americans are getting a college education only to find themselves with no work and getting part time jobs in retail, fast food or no job at all.

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House Speaker, recently said he was outraged over the Department of Labor's unemployment numbers. Recently, Boehner was attending a Republican fundraiser in Michigan and said that the U.S. Government cannot help recent college graduates until the economy recovered.

College is becoming more expensive. Parents and students all throughout the State of Michigan are feeling the impact of this. Wayne State raised its tuition rates by 6.9% for undergrads. Oakland University raised their rates by 7 %. The budget cuts in Lansing are making major impacts on students’ lives.

Many college grads are leaving college with a high amount of debt. This has resulted in a high number of college graduates moving back with their parents. According to a CNN poll conducted in 2010, 85% of graduates were forced to move back in with their parents.

Struggling to find a job is not the only reason why college graduates are moving back in with their parents. Another big reason is college debt. Most debt payments start six months after graduation. Since many graduates struggle to find jobs, they must cut down on spending, which leads to moving back in with their parents.

When college graduates are able to find jobs, they are starting out at a lower pay scale then previous graduates. Some are even applying for jobs not related to their field at all.

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