Unemployment continues, students feel added pressure
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 02:09
According to the Department of Labor’s most recent study, the unemployment rate for young adults ages 18 to 29 is 12.7 percent as of August 2012. The statistic does not include the 1.7 million young people that are not registered as “unemployed.”
Director of entrepreneurial studies Dan Freeman said the current state of the economy has caused mass layoffs among businesses. Freeman said not only does this cause an accumulation of unemployment, but companies are unable to hire more people.
He said it is easier for young people to find work if they have received a college education based on the types of jobs that are available.
“The jobs that are available in the economy are ones that require people to have particular skills and are trained for human capital,” Freeman said. “Blue-collar jobs that require less skills have exponentially decreased.”
Freeman said recent college graduates might not get the jobs they think they deserve, however.
“Young adults often have high expectations for what sort of job they are qualified for and the salary they should earn and the lifestyle they want to maintain,” Freeman said.
Sophomore Allison Shaw, a part-time employee at Starbucks in the Christiana Mall, said employers often hesitate to hire students and other part-time employees because of their limited availability.
“It is really difficult for seasonal and part-time workers to find an employer who is actually willing to hire and pay them,” Shaw said. “For those who try really hard to find work, it is marginally possible, but still a daunting task.”
Sophomore Alex Ulrich said he feels his degree will benefit him in the workforce, but he is still concerned because of economic hardship.
“I feel as though my college education will better prepare me for finding a career when I graduate, though I do have a slight fear of not finding a job due to the waning job market we are experiencing at this time,” Ulrich said.
He said young people are influenced by the idea of making their way and establishing a life for themselves. Ulrich said while he thinks many people do fear rejection, most will still apply for jobs due to a desire to support both themselves and their families.
Director of Career Services Matthew Brink said the current economic recession has been slower to recover than past recessions. He said the job market is improving, however, and he has witnessed an increase in students finding jobs after graduation.
According to Brink, the class of 2010 unemployment rate was only two percent, six months after graduation.
The Career Services Center follows an educational model of preparing students to be good candidates for employment and markets the student body to companies, he said. According to Brink, they have seen more companies look for college-educated workers.
“Last year we had 167 employers attend [the Fall Career Center Fair], this year we have over 200 employers who have registered and registration hasn’t even closed yet,” he said.