Now, we all know that the economy is awful, but did you know that it’s especially awful for this year’s graduating seniors? A couple recent stories from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Business Journal paint a pretty vividly depressing picture why.
First off, finding a job is extremely difficult due to a triad of terribleness:
- Unemployment is on the rise among our age group, with the rate up to 13.9% among 20- to 24-year-olds and 10.9% among 25- to 28-year-olds
- To deal with the recession, employers are cutting down on their payroll and hiring less
- Even if employers are hiring, they’re less likely to seek out recent grads given the large supply of experienced and unemployed workers
Even if by some miracle you manage to get hired, you may be screwing yourself over in terms of long-term wages:
Even those who land jobs will likely suffer lower wages for a decade or more compared to those lucky enough to graduate in better times, studies show … Economic research shows that the consequences of graduating in a downturn are long-lasting. They include lower earnings, a slower climb up the occupational ladder and a widening gap between the least- and most-successful grads.
According to the WSJ, if you can find work in your desired career field, you’ll be better off in the long-run since you’ll learn the relevant skills and be more in demand once the economy recovers.
However, with employers saying they’ll hire 22% fewer college graduates than last year, the best bet may be to opt out of the job market all together. And you’re not alone in choosing that path—applications to AmeriCorps tripled, Teach for America saw a 42% increase in applications and graduate school are reporting an 8% increase in applications.
Um, happy graduation Class of 2009?
Photo from Flickr user adobemac, used under a Creative Commons license.