Economics, U.S. Economy

Young people and the economy

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

College seniors face a tough job market. Unfortunately, the job prospects for a college senior today aren’t much different than they were four years ago. I have a piece out in The Blaze on this topic:

Obama’s policies have weakened our economy, and the opportunities for graduating seniors are not getting better. Ask today’s college senior who voted for Obama in 2008 how strong their job prospects are, and their answer will be virtually unchanged to a college senior’s answer four years ago—not strong at all.

College seniors faced a tough job market in January 2009 as unemployment for adults ages 20-24 was 12.4 percent and rose to 15 percent by the May 2009 graduation season.

The high school seniors who watched Obama’s inauguration four years ago are now college seniors who will enter an economy that remains sluggish. For today’s adults ages 20-24, the unemployment rate stands at 13.7 percent.

This doesn’t give much hope to the young voter who assumed that four years of Obama would make their job prospects better.

Many college students are rightly concerned about the state of our economy and how it will impact their career opportunities after graduation.

7 thoughts on “Young people and the economy

  1. “Obama’s policies have weakened our economy, and the opportunities for graduating seniors are not getting better.”

    Yeah, there was SO much more opportunity out there when we were losing 700,000 jobs per month after you got done with it.

    Unreal…..

  2. Obama’s policies sure do have a lot to do with the weakness of the recovery, but it is not the only reason college seniors are having trouble finding jobs.

    Probably one of the largest issues is the skills gap. Manufacturing and engineering has lots of job openings, but not enough applicants to fill them. Conversely, the US has an over-abundance of business majors, English majors, Sociologists, and the like. The demand just simply isn’t there for these skills.

    • “Probably one of the largest issues is the skills gap. Manufacturing and engineering has lots of job openings, but not enough applicants to fill them.”

      This is an oft repeated meme, and I never quite believed it. If manufacturers bemoan the lack of skills in candidates, they should train them themselves. It’s not exactly a new idea. Someone has to learn these trades somehow, and college may not be the place for it.

      But a recent article I saw gave what is probably the real reason for this “mismatch.” The companies just don’t want to pay what these skills are worth. They are trying to lowball their labor costs.

      • “They are trying to lowball their labor costs.”

        Just like every company and employer in human history since the dawn of economic transactions. Yet it’s only (apparently) become a Serious Problem in the last ten years…. somehow.

        To the other point… I’m an architect, in a firm with both architects and engineers. I can train someone to perform the basic skills associated with my profession (drafting, scheduling, etc.). I cannot train them into work ethic, problem solving, critical thinking, or abstract conceptualizing, all of which are required to ever become more than a ‘CAD monkey’. Someone with the latter skillset is worth FAR more to me and my company than someone without, and no number of people without those skills will make up for the lack of someone with those skills.

        • “Just like every company and employer in human history since the dawn of economic transactions. Yet it’s only (apparently) become a Serious Problem in the last ten years…. somehow.”

          It’s become a problem since the recession began. You should see how newly minted law associates are outraged at the offers they’re getting, while they dreamed of getting an easy six figure entry fee when they decided to take up law as a professions. The “Big Law” firms are no longer gateways to riches for young grads.

          A surfeit of labor will bring wages down. And between the shedding of manufacturing jobs, the unchecked levels of illegal immigration, and the financial crisis, wages and opportunities are stagnating, skills or no skills.

        • To answer your second point: “I cannot train them into work ethic, problem solving, critical thinking, or abstract conceptualizing, all of which are required to ever become more than a ‘CAD monkey’.”

          This is a matter of talent, not training. I know plenty of “book smart” people in my business- they pass every test, hold several certifications- but you have to have a “touch” or some “soul” for the job, and the market, or they’re worthless. That comes from within.

          I’ve gotten into flame wars with Wharton grads over the housing issue- I have to walk them through the most basic understanding of credit metrics that they should already understand. I don’t know why, but some of these people are utterly clueless on these basic lending precepts.

  3. Millennials will become the Lost Generation. We need a pro-growth agenda (3-1/2 to 4% growth in GDP). I worked all through the ’60′s — quite a different time that what young folks face today. You can check my blog, Economics Without The B.S. and look at the real GDP growth we had in the ’60′s with one Government deficit after another and debt/GDP being reduced throughout the decade. We could do a lot better for the younger ones. We have really let them down by pushing a status quo agenda.

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