By Marlyn Rodriguez |Opinions Editor|
College and high school graduates between the ages of 17 and 42 have become idled by the weak and recovering economy.
Due to this, graduates are becoming less active or inactive in the economy because they are either unemployed and/or not attending school.
Although the recession ended about five years ago, the labor market is still slowly recovering.
The labor market has lost over 7 million jobs.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) recently released a report analyzing the working conditions of high school and college graduates.
Researchers found that during a three-year period, the percentage of unemployed graduates has increased.
They also explained that the increased unemployment would have long-lasting effects on students who graduate and are unable to find a job.
According to the report, on average, young adults with less opportunities after they graduate from high school or college have a lower income in their careers versus those who earn employment once theyenter the work force.
One of the researchers states that it is not the students’ fault that they are emerging into a weak labor market filled with “diminished job opportunities, more spells of unemployment, and reduced earnings for a decade or more.”
“This has been an issue since the Great Recession started in late 2007,” said Mayo Toruno, professor and chair of the economics department.
“The unemployment rate for college graduates is 8.5 percent, compared to an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent for college graduates in 2007,” added Toruno.
The EPI reported that the unemployment rate for workers under 25 is 14.5 percent, which is more than half of the overall unemployment rate of 6.7 percent.
When taking the unemployment rate into consideration, there are more than a million workers missing.
If these workers were accounted for, the employment rate would be at approximately 18 percent, which is three times as much as the general unemployment rate.
Generally young adults have higher unemployment rates while economic downturns increase that number, states the report.
These rates tend to be higher for African Americans and Hispanics compared to those who are white and non-Hispanic.
However, findings have also linked college graduates to better chances of landing a job that does not require a college degree due to the competition they bring.
This means the number of college students idled by the economy is significantly lower than those of high school graduates.
However, the report also states that although college graduates have a better chance of gaining employment than high school graduates, their future success is still impaired due to the slowly recovering recession.
“I got my bachelor’s in psychology and I’m still here,” said Melissa Wilson, CSUSB senior and banker at U.S. Bank.
“That’s partially my fault because I didn’t further my education,” added Wilson.
Student Don Arujo, a dual major in psychology and philosophy, said that he doesn’t think students can do anything in this day and age without having a graduate degree.
Arujo and Wilson have acknowledged that due to the lack of education and experience, students were challenged to find opportunities after graduation.
Toruno also mentioned that, “If current economic policies remain the same then it will be a long time, at best, until we see a turn-around in this state of affairs. How long? That I don’t know.”
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