Conditions Worsen for Recent College Graduates

Posted by John Abodeely, Sep 04, 2009 3 comments

A blog post on the Education Policy Blog offers a slice of a new report. It's concerning both for students and for new professionals:

  • 31% of young workers report being uninsured, up from 24% 10 years ago, and 79% of the uninsured say they don’t have coverage because they can’t afford it or their employer does not offer it.
  • Strikingly, one in three young workers are currently living at home with their parents.
  • Only 31% say they make enough money to cover their bills and put some money aside—22% points fewer than in 1999—while 24% cannot even pay their monthly bills.
  • A third cannot pay their bills and seven in 10 do not have enough saved to cover two months of living expenses.
  • 37% have put off education or professional development because they can’t afford it.
  • When asked who is most responsible for the country’s economic woes, close to 50% of young workers place the blame on Wall Street and banks or corporate CEOs. And young workers say greed by corporations and CEOs is the factor most to blame for in the current financial downturn.
  • By a 22-point margin, young workers favor expanding public investment over reducing the budget deficit. Young workers rank conservative economic approaches such as reducing taxes, government spending and regulation on business among the five lowest of 16 long-term priorities for Congress and the president.
  • 35% say they voted for the first time in 2008, and nearly three-quarters now keep tabs on government and public affairs, even when there’s not an election going on.
  • The majority of young workers and nearly 70% of first-time voters are confident that Obama will take the country in the right direction.
This seems like a financially sad state of affairs for new professionals and recent graduates. Or is it? How far is this from your reality? What does each generation think of this?
3 responses for Conditions Worsen for Recent College Graduates


recentcollegegrad says
September 06, 2009 at 11:40 pm

As a recent college grad, I thought it would be much easier to find a job. But instead, I find myself competing for entry-level jobs against people who are experienced, and have been laid off or downsized. People who were once salaried are taking (barely) paid jobs and internships because that's all that's left to choose from. What does that leave for the 20-somethings like me?

It seems there are so few opportunities for us to be paid for the work we do. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to volunteer for arts orgs full time, but I have no money in my bank account and no health insurance. I may very well have to settle for being a waiter, unless I want to move in with my parents or be homeless. It's no wonder depression rates are up now, too.

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September 04, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Everything above seems to be true. The art world has the opportunity to hire some very talented recent graduates and are unable to do so. For now, the museums and studios are doing the best they can by expanding internship programs, and they should be commended for that. Hopefully, the lack of paid jobs will change soon.

(Twitter: @TheLittleArtist)

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September 04, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Given that that arts organizations have fewer financial resources than other places job seekers could work for, perhaps this is an opportunity to carve some other niche into the job world by offering things to job seekers besides money? Obviously, the intrinsic benefit to working in the arts is always there, but how about arts organizations give more freedom (since they can't give more cash) by elevating things like telecommuting and non-traditional work environments? By replacing the choice of making more money with the option of making less money but not commuting for example, arts organizations could really help level the playing field and attract more applicants.

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