National and World News Editor
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data, the unemployment rate dropped below 8% for the first time since 2009, and industrial production increased modestly this September. The economy may have rebounded ever so slightly last month, but what is the perceived outlook for graduates being thrown into the workforce?
19-year-old Mckayla Herman, Communication Studies major, is determined to find a job she loves in any economic situation. “My teacher said it was impossible for him to find a job, he had to go back to school for teaching. I’m not going to do something I don’t love, I don’t mind working up from the bottom to get there,” said Herman. Herman is an aspiring journalist and would like to write in magazines for teenagers.
Many current students and college graduates remain optimistic, despite the negative employment statistics that continue to surface. In a recent article from the Huffington Post – one in two college graduates are jobless or underemployed. Graduates with bachelors’ degrees are forced to take lower-wage jobs – cashier, receptionist, waiter or waitress, for instance – these, presumably temporary positions, are to cover student loans that need to be paid monthly.
Brian Luckenbill – 20, Physics major, thinks the current job market does not look positive for certain majors. “I have a chance in the workplace because I’m going to be a physics teacher, it’s not a popular major and schools are looking for physics teachers,” said Luckenbill. The major Luckenbill chose will help him find a job, but life after college has not been favorable for Luckenbills brother. “My brother graduated with a History Education degree at Kutztown, he hasn’t been able to find a job after graduating one year ago,” said Luckenbill. In fact, Luckinbills brother is considering going to other states for employment.
In the presence of a bleak job market, some students wonder if President Obama or Governor Romney can have a significant impact on their probability of getting a job after college. Devon Cadr, a senior majoring in Criminology, is preparing to graduate spring 2013. She is doubtful that any president can have an immediate influence in economic matters. “Any change would take a long time because congress controls everything, the president can influence change but congress decides change,” said Cadr. According to USA Today – 61 bills became law in 2012 out of 3,914 bills that have been proposed, less than 2% of proposed bills became law this year. This year’s congress passed fewer bills into law then any congress since 1947; the first year statistics from congress were recorded.
Shane Erieb, a junior majoring in History, said, “I think both presidential candidates have a chance to positively change the economy for college students. The job market does not look good, but things have to get better for students to even have a chance.” Erieb will is going into the seminary after college, where he will study Art History. As the approval rating congress of fell below 10%, according to The Huffington Post, positive views of congress are nearly impossible to find.
College graduates continue applying for jobs, the president and congress continue to fight over bills, and employers continue to struggle creating job openings for new college graduates. Each facet of the job market is dependent on the other. At the bottom of the ladder are the college graduates who must play the job market game, where there are currently more losers then winners. The road to employment for college graduates will likely be arduous, but optimism and endurance will separate the employed from the underemployed. The only factor students can rely on for an improved chance at employment is themselves.