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Economic Essay on Labor Market for Recent College Graduates

Labor Market for Recent College Graduates

Investing in education just like any other form of valuable investment needs money and time. People spend a lot of time in college and schools acquiring knowledge to enable them venture in a career of choice. The skills acquired should not only enhance their chances of getting employing but also help them deliver quality services for an employer.

At the time of college graduation, graduates are often hopeful of employment but not all of them are lucky to get employment immediately. There are many reasons behind this and in the United States of America for example, the impact of the great recession of 2007-2009 as well as poor market are some of the major factors that do not guarantee jobs for college graduates.

This essay is therefore an assessment of labor market for recent college graduates and will disclose the relationship between unemployment rate and age even further. Many students graduate from universities and colleges in the United States yearly. Even so, many of them do not secure jobs despite being ready. This has become a very common phenomenon with research studies showing that labor market has become weak following the 2007-2009 great depression, which started in the US.

The global economy shrunk for the first time during the period creating reduced economic activities across the globe. To date, the world is still recovering from the effects of the recession and labor market is thus, overwhelmed and may not be in a position to cater for all college graduates.

Many of the graduates end up in employment fields that do not sufficiently utilize their skills because they must survive and that such fields do not need a college degree. As a result, graduates are underpaid because of underemployment. The rate of underemployment in the recent past has also increased to 44percent by 2012 (Abel et al 4). This rate is however retreated to a level it was back in 1990s even though it is increasing.

When it comes to finding a job, recent college graduates, face many challenges. Even though some of them find themselves underemployed or underemployed, recent studies reveal that many graduates are not in a position to find ideal jobs for their college degrees much easier while others solely rely on their major’s (Abel, et al 6). The research also reveals that many graduates from major technical training institutions are more likely to take up jobs that need a degree compared to those from majors that provide general training.

Therefore, it is easy for an engineering, computer or mathematics major graduate to get a job that needs a degree compared to a graduate from communication, business or leisure and hospitality major. In the 2009-2011 period for example, 75 percent of college graduates with engineering degrees took up jobs that needed degrees compared to 33percent of those with leisure and hospitality major (Abel et al 6).

Students should as a result, take time to examine their majors before making choices. Even so, different majors because of self-selection need different intelligence levels, ability to persevere and motivation. One major may have employment opportunities as opposed to underemployment but the individual does not have the ability to pursue the course to the end.

An underemployed college graduate may be working in a good ‘non-college job’ and vice versa. Such clustering depends on an individual’s annual earnings. According to Abel and others, jobs that pay less than $ 25,000 per year are bad non college jobs and those that pay $45,000 per year are good non college jobs (5). Despite the fact that non-college jobs may not need a good college degree, one may have graduated from the university but the jobs need specific skills.

It is therefore imperative that an individual needs to settle for the career and those who work in such jobs are not necessarily underpaid. Examples of the jobs include electricians and mechanics. Low wage jobs conversely that are considered bad non college jobs do not need specific skills and are not career oriented. They include cashiers and supermarket attenders among others who are underpaid.

Even though the rate of underemployment and unemployment among recent college graduates is high especially those between the ages of 22 to 27, there is still an inverse connection between age and underemployment or joblessness. The underemployment rate significantly reduces as an individual’s age increase. A study carried out between 2009 and 2011 for example reveals that that underemployment rate was at 56 percent at 22years and it reduced to 33percent by the time graduates were about 30 years (Abel et al 4).

This study also disclosed that the underemployment and joblessness rate in other graduates is relatively lower compared to recent graduates. Therefore, there is a common trend in the US where a graduate with a college degree does not get a job that suits his or her educational skills immediately after graduation.

Even so for me, I am presently networking with my friends who are already employed. This will help to enrich me with knowledge on the right skills as well as expertise needed by different employers. I am also feeling ready for the labor market despite my lack of experience. I am also planning to volunteer in a company upon completion of my studies to gain more experience and as I volunteer, I will get an opportunity to interact with people who will enable me to gain more skills needed for a degree job.

The US economy is evidently not able to offer jobs to all college graduates. It was much easier for young graduates to get employments that put their skills into practice in early 2000 than it is today when the states is recovering from the great depression. Many people are also graduating yearly but the country’s ability to offer jobs to each graduate is relatively low.

This trend is also being worsened by the growing information technology and it is lowering the need for intellectual skills in the employment industry. College graduates as a result, are being forced to take up low quality jobs that also need fewer skills. There is also need for the administration of the US to address the issue before it grows to a level that is not manageable.

The present government should also craft and formulate methods that will help expand the economy to reduce unemployment rate for recent college graduates. Universities and colleges should additionally streamline their curriculum to match employer needs.


Works Cited

Abel, Jaison R, Deitz  Richard and Su Yaqin. “Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs?”. Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 20. 1 (2014): 1-8. Web. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2378472


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