Tough News for those Graduating in 2010 – Job Seekers Vastly Outnumber Available Jobs
A month to the day we recommended that the Class of 2010 begin examining all their future options, that next year’s graduate should begin thinking about what they might do instead of simply entering the workforce. Our rationale was simple, the current unemployment rates and the impact of two poor successive job placement years meant that job opportunities next spring are likely to be no better than those seen last spring.
Lest our readers have any doubt regarding our advice, that particular scenario has been reinforced by data relayed today by the New York Times. According to the Times, Labor Department statistics for the month of July revealed that just “2.4 million full-time permanent jobs were open” yet there were “14.5 million people officially unemployed.”
That represents a six to one ratio, the worst such ratio since the Labor Department began tracking such numbers. The sum total is that workers will continue to be looking for employment for a much longer period than has occurred in prior recessions.
And that means that those graduating in 2010 will be competing with a number of experienced workers for the very few job openings available.
Long Term Impact
While some economists believe the recession is over, this data reveals that the recession could well be a double-dipper, if not a stagnator. The high unemployment rates mean that a large segment of America still has little in the way of disposable income and will remain in such a plight for the near future.
Therefore, the high unemployment rates also will ultimately translate to a continued reduction in consumer spending. Given the dependence of our nation’s economy on consumer spending, this current scenario could well mean that the ugly head of recession may reemerge in the not distant future.
The current situation also represents a major issue for federal and state budgets. Fewer workers translates to fewer taxable dollars coming into the government coffers, both in income and sales based taxes. That likely means more in the way of layoffs at the state and federal levels.
The job losses have also resulted in a large number of early retirement claims from laid-off seniors. Overall, applications for retirement benefits are up 23 percent over a year.
That means that Social Security is about to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes over the next two years (the first such occurrence since the 1980s). This will, of course, only make those federal budget deficit numbers for 2010 and 2011 that much worse.
Overall, this data indicates that those graduating in 2010 should begin to research options other than the traditional workforce, including the Peace Corps, Americorps, Teach for America and graduate school. Given the state of the economy, the current situation means that these options could all well be out of the question for those who procrastinate.
If you are graduating in 2010, now is the time to begin thinking about all your options.