Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Young, College Educated, and Unemployed


The New York Times has a piece today about the swelling ranks of college graduates who remain unemployed — even one or two years after graduation. They have degrees, and plenty of college loans, but no paychecks.

For young adults, the prospects in the workplace, even for the college-educated, have rarely been so bleak. Apart from the 14 percent who are unemployed and seeking work, as Scott Nicholson is, 23 percent are not even seeking a job, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total, 37 percent, is the highest in more than three decades and a rate reminiscent of the 1930s.

Wait a minute: 23 percent aren’t even looking? Have they given up because they failed to find quick success? Have we become so soft? If it is really true that one out of four young people in this country is unemployed and not even looking for work, one has to wonder: What are all these people doing with their time? It seems we are suffering a great waste of energy, opportunity, and potential.

The article describes the sense of entitlement some of today’s graduates feel. Some are refusing jobs for which they feel overqualified, even after two or more years of futile searching.

In terms of their employment rate, college graduates are still faring better than non-college graduates. But, with more than a third of the young adults in America out of work, some degree-holders are having a difficult time coming to grips with the reality of the job market.


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