Job Market 2015

With a perfect GPA and a major in finance, graduate Justin Lauria-Banta thought he would be lined up with jobs by the time he finished school. However, that wasn’t the case. This led him to going back to school for finance this time and surprisingly, only ended up with three job interviews afterwards.
Lauria-Banta has been working as an entry-level financial analysist with IBM. His starting salary was below his expectations- $40,000 annually. He states, “There is still a lot of trepidation and uncertainty out there, I’ve got 10 or 15 friends coming out of business school and only a couple of them have jobs. And I only have a small loan, so I’m lucky. Some of them have $80,000 or $90,000 or more to pay off.” Justin considers himself lucky.
For the class of 2015, job prospects are better than ever since the Great Recession in 2009. However, they are also still bad; a promise Obama made during the Recession in still, in 2015, unfulfilled.
At the time, Obama made a promise that although our economy was facing hard times, we will make it rise again and recover its worth. However, that couldn’t be more of an exaggeration for 2015 graduates who had high hopes at the time the speech was given while they were in high school. Since then, Obama has tried to do more such as lower tuition rates and student loan debt relief because despite his determination, unemployment rates are on a downward incline for recent graduates.
The recent unemployment rate is at a 7.2%, making it lower than it was in the midst of the hard-hitting times of the Great Recession, but still above the historical norm of unemployment rate percentages. In 2007. The unemployment rate for recent grads was 9.6% before the recession, now it’s at 14.9%. Those statistics are including part-time workers who strive for a full-time job or who have just given up looking for work. When you take into account those working in fields that don’t necessarily require them, the unemployment rate for recent graduates is 44.6%.
Elise Goulds, who is one of the authors of the EPI study suggests that the class of 2015 should become more positive than those who graduated before them because things are certainly starting to look up. “But we are still far from where we want to be. Graduates can expect entry-level wages that are lower in inflation-adjusted terms than they were 15 years ago. And when you have a period of sustained economic weakness, you have a lot of people competing for a limited number of jobs,” Goulds says.
The universal unemployment rate (5.4%) is at its all time low since May of 2008 thanks to Obama. However, the aftermath of the recession will likely not be fully recovered for many years to come.
Jaison Abel, who works for the New York Federal Reserve Banks and has studied the issue alongside Richard Deitz says, “We take recent signals in the job market as a definite positive, but it’s still a very challenging labor market for everyone, especially for recent college graduates. Graduates right now have to be patient. This educational investment will pay off over the long run.” This is a reality check for graduates.
Although this most likely does hold some truth, it may be over the long haul. Recent graduates are often taking jobs that do not pay well and more and more often, getting jobs that do not require a degree, so the question is asked, is an invent really worth it?
Unfortunately, those who are lucky enough to find an entry level job are having problems paying for their own living and also student living with loans and debt. With the cost of private college being risen 125.7% in between the years 1984 and public universities growing to 129%, costs are very hard to keep track of and maintain. So while unemployment rates are dropping, the number of students taking out loans are rising.
These figures are scary for those who were in the same situation as previously mentioned Lauria-Banta. It’s been hard for recent graduates. EPI states that the unemployment rate of young recent graduates have risen between the years 2007 and 20011 from as small as 5.5% to now 9.9%.
Unemployment rates and college debt has reached a political level. Many candidates, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marco Rubio, and others, have addressed the issue in their campaigns and see it very vital to focus on. Although their approaches and concerns may differ, there is no doubt that a new plan for the college education system is in each of their minds.
With words from Elise Gould,  “Things are a little better than they have been, but they are still very tough out there,”
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