June 22, 2012

HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Grim job prospects could scar today’s college graduates.

Social scientists say these young adults are a lot like the Americans who came of age in the early 1930s, both in the economic upheaval they confront and in the attitudes toward success, contentment and risk aversion that they are forming. . . .

A Harvard University Institute of Politics survey in March and April found that more than three out of four college students expect to have a somewhat or very difficult time finding a job. And 45% expect student loans to affect their financial circumstances “a lot” after they graduate.

Their pessimism is based on the experience of the 20-somethings just ahead of them. A Rutgers University study this spring of 444 graduates who received bachelor’s degrees from 2006 to 2011 found that 51% were working full time. The rest were in graduate school, unemployed, working part time or no longer in the job market.

One in four were living with parents. Those who got jobs beginning in 2008, the height of the Great Recession, earned a starting salary, on average, 10% less than those graduates who entered the job market in 2006 and 2007, according to the Rutgers survey. All this has happened as the total amount of student loan debt in the USA surpassed $900 billion.

Gee, you could write a book on this phenomenon.

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