Despite a surprisingly strong job market; Since the pandemic, recent college graduates have had a harder time finding jobs than others.This marks the sharp A reversal from the long-held norm, where a newly minted university degree all but guaranteed a better chance at employment. Since 1990, the unemployment rate for new graduates has almost always been lower than the general population.
However, things have changed since COVID-19. Since January 2021, recent graduates have consistently performed worse than other job seekers, and the gap has only widened in recent months.of The latest unemployment rate for new graduates is 4.4 percent, higher than the overall unemployment rate and nearly twice the unemployment rate for all workers with a college degree, according to an analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Part of the problem is that the industries with the worst labor shortages, such as restaurants, hotels, daycares and nursing homes, aren’t necessarily the places new graduates want to work. Meanwhile, the industries they want to work in, including technology, consulting, finance and media, are announcing layoffs and reevaluating hiring plans.
“Recent college graduates are very sensitive to the current state of the labor market,” said Harry Holzer, a public policy professor at Georgetown University and former chief economist at the Department of Labor. “We’re seeing some softening on the employment front, and young people in general are the first to feel it.”
As a result, the pandemic has caused further disruption for a generation of college graduates who have already experienced several critical years of schooling. In interviews, many said they struggled to adjust to distance learning in early 2020 and missed opportunities to build connections with professors, employers, and other students that might have been important toward landing a graduate school job. He said that he felt that he had done so. Now in the workforce, they say they are increasingly disillusioned with the economy, which is fueling political dissatisfaction and causing them to reconsider the financial independence they thought they would achieve after college.
“It’s been really tough,” said Christian Torres, 24, who graduated from Arizona State University this spring with a degree in electrical engineering and is still looking for work. “Even an entry-level engineering job requires him to have four to five years of experience. There’s no way to compete, so I’m still living at home and looking for a job.”
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More than half – about 55 percent — The number of young people living with their parents last year was down from their pandemic-era peak, but up from 2019, according to census data. The combination of a softening job market, ballooning student debt, and persistent inflation is forcing many to rethink their plans for life after graduation.
In California, Ms. Chong recently took her only job as a hotel receptionist. His hourly wage is $19.20, which is above minimum wage. too little to live on Located in Sonoma County. He can’t afford to move out of his parents’ home and is still applying for jobs, but he continues to receive more and more rejections, even for jobs he feels overqualified for, such as receptionist or car rental agency.
Like Mr. Chong, the proportion of new graduates is are underemployed According to the New York Fed, the number of people working in jobs that typically don’t require a college degree has increased from 38% to 40% this year. By comparison, the proportion of all college graduates considered underemployed has remained stable at 33%.
This worsening outlook is fueling widespread dissatisfaction among young Americans, who are disproportionately focused on economic issues such as jobs, taxes and the cost of living, according to a recent report. New York Times/Siena College Poll. The poll found that a whopping 93% of young people in battleground states said the economy was fair or bad, compared to 81% of the population overall. Meanwhile, less than 1% of adults aged 18 to 29 rated the economy as “excellent,” the lowest of any age group.
These complaints could create new challenges for President Biden as he seeks re-election next year. In 2020, 60% of young people voted for Biden, the highest percentage of any age group, but that support appears to be waning.
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“College graduates are used to living a pretty good life and having higher incomes and much lower unemployment rates,” Georgetown’s Holzer said. “They had high expectations and I can understand their disappointment when it is difficult to find a job.”
University officials across the country say companies are still actively recruiting at campus job fairs and other events. But there are signs that hiring is slowing, especially at large technology companies and consulting firms that have long been popular places for new seniors to work.
“Employer engagement remains very high, but at the same time, more students are expressing dissatisfaction with their job search,” said Suzanne Helbig, vice provost for career paths at the University of California, Irvine. “It’s getting harder and harder to pass interviews, and not as many students come to us with offers.”
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Similarly, at Michigan State University, the percentage of undergraduates who found full-time jobs within six months of graduation It fell last year, 56 percent, up from 62 percent the previous year. Additionally, more students than in 2021 reported working part-time or looking for a job.
Kyle Ciambrone of New Jersey graduated with a degree in marketing from Monmouth University in 2020, just as the world was shutting down. His options were limited, so he took a job delivering pizza, then a job processing returns in a warehouse.
Since then, he has applied for up to 50 office jobs a week, but has yet to find one long-term.
“I always expected you to go to school, get a degree, and eventually get an office job that pays enough to live on,” Ciambrone, 25, said. “That’s how it was with my father and my brother, who is 10 years older than me. But that doesn’t seem possible anymore.”
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Some economists say the problem isn’t that new graduates are falling behind. In their place, workers without degrees are finally taking a stand. Workers are in strong demand in industries that don’t typically require a college degree, such as leisure and hospitality, child care and manufacturing. For example, construction job openings on job site Indeed are up 50% from pre-pandemic levels, while software development and marketing job openings are down about 20-25%.
“The job market is even tougher for new graduates, but this speaks to how good the job market has been for people without degrees,” said Cory Kantenga, senior economist at LinkedIn.
There are other power relations at work as well. Recent graduates who have spent months, if not years, learning virtually during the pandemic are increasingly exploring hybrid and remote work arrangements, which is joining a large number of applicants across the country. It means to compete. They’re also losing newly laid-off tech and media workers with real-world experience, said Julia Pollack, ZipRecruiter’s chief economist.
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The economic slowdown is also having an impact. The Federal Reserve has been aggressively raising interest rates in an effort to curb inflation, which has brought the real estate market to a standstill and raised borrowing costs for businesses of all types.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the high-tech industry and the banking industry, with no companies going public and very few mergers,” Pollack said. “We are very conscious of costs,” he said. And until those dynamics change for the better, these young, inexperienced workers will be marginalized and sidelined. ”
In Pennsylvania, Amber was finishing up her junior year at a liberal arts college when the coronavirus forced everyone home. She welcomed the change at first. She is an introvert, and she said she felt more comfortable attending classes remotely. But now she wonders if she also had flaws.
Amber, 25, said, “It was difficult to use my resources and connect with people.” She spoke to the Post on condition that she reveal her name because she feared it would alienate potential employers. She said, “I’m a really shy person, so it was even more difficult at home. I should have gone to the employment office and made more connections.”
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Amber graduated in 2021 with a degree in physics and took a job at a call center making $10 an hour. She resigned after a year, thinking that her next job would be easy to find because of her frequent harassment.
However, this was not the case. Engineering, Customer Service, Tutoring, IT He has been looking for a job for a year and a half, but is still struggling to get a job offer. Amber estimates that she has sent out more than 1,000 applications so far. Indeed.com.I pay my rent by posting photos and videos. On OnlyFans, a digital subscription service for online creators.
“Forget about finding a job that will make you happy or fulfilled. At this point, we’re just trying to do whatever helps us pay the rent,” Amber said. You feel depressed. ”
Meanwhile, Chong, who works at a hotel in California, started calling law firms looking for work. He has also started studying for his LSAT. Maybe he’ll just go to law school, he says.
“I had a little feeling that it would be difficult to find a job,” he said. “But we didn’t expect it to be this bad.”