Job outlook for 2014 college grads puzzling

By Hadley Malcolm Dear Class of 2014: We regret to inform you that the nation’s job market continues to force college graduates to take jobs they’re overqualified for, jobs outside their major, and generally delay their career to the detriment of at least a decade’s worth of unearned wages. Good luck on your job search. A job rejection letter to this year’s graduates, who are supposed to be starting their first truly independent adult years, might as well go something like that. A jobs report for April gave grads a puzzling picture. Employers added the most jobs in more than two years, 288,000. Unemployment dropped from 6.7% to 6.3%, the first time it was that low since September 2008. Still, the portion of Americans 25-34 who were working in April fell to a five-month low of 75.5%, down from 75.9% in March. “The entire drop (in unemployment) was due to people dropping out of the labor force, in particular young people,” says Heidi Shierholz, a labor market economist who writes an annual report on the state of employment for young adults for the Economic Policy Institute. Despite the number of jobs added last month, Shierholz calls the gradual improvement “agonizingly slow.” Seniors who graduate over the next several weeks are poised to be yet another product of a depressing economic cycle that isn’t their fault but that they may never fully recover from. They and other recent graduating classes entered college and subsequently the labor market amid a panoply of converging circumstances that will inevitably set them back: rising tuition, their parents’ decreasing ability to pay that tuition, fewer jobs after graduation and lower wages for the jobs that are available. In Shierholz’s paper on this year’s graduates, released early this month, she and her colleagues wrote that “the Class of 2014 will be the sixth consecutive graduating class to enter the labor market during a period of profound weakness.” Read the full article here:

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