With unemployment rates soaring towards 9% and poised to hit 11% by the end of the year, college graduates are facing the toughest job market in years.

ABC News is asking Got Work?

Casey Savage graduated from Trinity College in Hartford with a 3.8 grade-point average and honors. What he doesn’t have is a job.

“I’ve talked to 24 different firms so far. Hedge funds, investment banks, private equity shops,” Savage said. “And I just feel that there’s limited opportunities at this point.”

According to a survey from National Association of Colleges and Employers, the class of 2009 is leaving campus with fewer jobs in hand than their 2008 counterparts. The group’s 2009 Student Survey found that just 19.7 percent of 2009 graduates who applied for a job actually have one.

In comparison, 51 percent of those graduating in 2007 and 26 percent of those graduating in 2008 who had applied for a job had one in hand by the time of graduation.

Kahn studied the impact of the recession in the 1980s and found that seniors who graduated then were still feeling the impact 20 years later. Today’s seniors are “going to be earning much less than their counterparts who graduated in better times and they’ll be in lower level occupations,” she said.

“If I were a 22-year-old today I would be willing to take an unpaid internship,” said Lanna Hagge, director of Career Services at Trinity College. “I would be willing to do almost anything just to get the experience and exposure.”

College Graduates Tackle Dismal Job Market

CBS News is reporting College Graduates Tackle Dismal Job Market

(CBS) The nation’s unemployment rate is soaring, inching closer to 10 percent with each passing month. And that spells trouble for graduating college seniors, about to compete in the toughest job market in decades, reports CBS News correspondent Priya David.

“The previous 5 years it was a seller’s market for these kids,” said Ed Koc of the National Association of Colleges and Employers. “They could pretty much demand what they wanted in terms of a job and what they got from an employer. That’s no longer going to be the case.”

One place recent graduates can look for work is the U.S. government. The government has postings for more than 40,000 open slots right now and expects to increase hiring employees straight from college.

College senior Peter Donald expects to find a job in federal law enforcement soon. But fellow senior Bill Frame is still looking for work. He spent months trying for a job on Wall Street without success, and has now widened his search to other industries.

College Graduate Unemployment Understated

The unemployment rate and underemployment rate of college graduates is understated according to the New York Time article The Job Market for College Graduates.

Last month, the number of college graduates who were working fell by 282,000, while only 2,000 more college graduates were classified as unemployed. Why this gap? Laid off college workers, who are unaccustomed to unemployment, may feel a stigma if they report themselves as actively looking for work, so they are uncounted among the unemployed.

The job situation is likely to weaken considerably for less-educated workers as the downturn persists, however, because employers are likely to raise skill requirements. Employers tend to be more selective in downturns. A study by Paul Devereux, for example, found “the education levels of new hires within occupations are higher when the unemployment rate is high and this effect is more pronounced in lower-paying occupations.” If this is right, then more college graduates should be working at Starbucks in the months ahead.

Because jobless college-educated workers appear unlikely to be classified as unemployed and because it is likely that well-educated workers will be taking jobs for which they are overqualified, the depths of this recession should not be measured only by the official unemployment rate. The fraction of the population that is employed is probably a better indicator of the strength of the job market, even though it does not reflect the underutilization of skills by workers who do find jobs.

Looking For Jobs In All The Wrong Places

Casey Savage in the ABC article and Bill Frame in the CBS article are looking for jobs in bubble fields that have popped. The reality is Wall Street is still laying off and the job market in high finance is going to be extremely weak for years to come.

Please consider Wall Street seen replacing few of jobs cut by 2013.

Wall Street securities firms will emerge from the current recession in a down-sized mode, with few of the jobs cut replaced by 2013, even as the industry returns to profitability next year, a New York City fiscal monitor said in a gloomy report released on Wednesday.

The city faces a decline in tax revenues of $2.5 billion in the current fiscal year, and a further $2.2 billion decline in the 2010 fiscal year, due to the Wall Street job cuts, a drooping real estate market and lower business taxes, the city’s Independent Budget Office said in the report.

The projected decline for the current fiscal year ending on June 30 represents a 6.6 percent decline in tax revenues, according to the watchdog’s report.

“This back-to-back decline — which follows a year, 2008, of essentially no tax revenue growth — would mark the first time in at least three decades that the city experienced consecutive years of falling tax revenues,” the Independent Budget Office said in the report.

Employment in New York City peaked at 3.8 million in the third quarter of 2008, the report said. The latest forecast for job losses in the city is slightly higher than the loss of 228,500 jobs in the 2001 to 2003 recession — but smaller than the 377,500 reduction in jobs from 1989 to 1992.

By the third quarter of this year, New York City employers likely will have made three-quarters of the job cuts for the current recession, the report said. The financial sector as a whole is seen axing a total of 56,800 people through the first quarter of 2012. More than half of the jobs lost will be by securities workers, with the sector’s workforce falling by 17.2 percent, the report said.

Graduates hoping to become Wall Street wunderkinds or commercial real estate tycoons better be thinking about Plan B. Other than those with specialties in bankruptcy, the Plan A jobs simply are not there. Moreover, those who waste too much time pursuing jobs that are not available are likely to end up in Plan C, working at Starbucks.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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