Friday, January 28, 2011

College Grads: Not Doing So Badly

I suppose this is old news to anyone who pays attention but it is new news to me.  We stew about 9/15/25 (depending what you count) unemployment rates but unemployment for college grads is actually quite low--4.8 percent in December 2010 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to 9.8 for high school grads and  15.3 percent for those without  high school diploma.  That's all college grads I'm talking about, not just the post-adolescent you are trying to get out of the guest room.  And it doesn't say a lot about job quality:  I wouldn't be surprised if there are a fair number of former mortgage brokers out there waiting tables or cutting hair and happy to have it thankyouverymuch.  I suppose it is one more thread for the mantra of how this is a skill-based society.  I suppose so but I still remember what a prospective non-employer told me back when I was a college dropout: it's not what you learn in college, it's just that completing college is proof of at least a certain minimum of staying power--also, perhaps, skill at outwitting a heartless bureaucracy.

I haven't seen any data on young college grads in particular.  I should think this would be particularly hard to measure, seeing as how a fair number of the kiddies just don't get their act in gear until months, maybe a year or two, after they walk across the stage (gotta be time for the World Tour or at least one more scarf-down of mom's cooking before you embark on the great adventure.  I suppose also  lot of he young get crap jobs and that's fine--really, that's what the young should be for.  Question is how long will they be stuck in those crap jobs?  Will "it's only until I find something real" turn into  25th anniversary lunch at Chili's with all your lucky-to-be-employed-at-all college graduate buddies?

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