As college students all across the country begin a new school year, they do so with the promise of a better, brighter future. Unfortunately, far too many college graduates today are struggling to find a job and begin their career.
According to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the demand for college graduates has leveled off in the past 18 months. And the result? Many graduates are finding themselves “underemployed” – in positions that are only part-time or don’t require college degrees. The underemployment rate for college graduates has been on the rise since 2003, and currently sits at 46%.
And for recent grads who are employed, the pay is stagnant and dismal. San Francisco Federal Reserve bank researchers found that wage growth for recent graduates has been “poor” across occupational groups. And while the slow (read: practically nonexistent) economic recovery is troublesome for all, college graduates are making almost 10% less than their counterparts.
The burden of student loans aside, many recent graduates are worried about their economic future. And rightly so – the President’s policies for the last six years have led to a sluggish and stagnant economy. The so-called “recovery” still hasn’t happened, outlasting the length of the recession itself. The unemployment rate is still sitting at a high 6.2%, meaning over 9.7 million unemployed Americans (19.4 million if you consider those who gave up looking).
These numbers have left college graduates scratching their heads (and digging for quarters in couch cushions). After all the hard work a degree entails, too many graduates are finding themselves out of work, underemployed, or not making enough to move forward.
This doesn’t have to be the “new normal.” House Republicans continue to offer solutions to grow a healthy economy and provide more opportunity for Americans of all ages. One of these solutions – The SKILLS Act – was recently signed into law by the President.
There are many others that have passed the House – with support from both Democrats and Republicans – that are awaiting Senate action.
Let’s start the school year on a better note. Let’s help our students, not hold them back. And let’s enact policies that give our future leaders a leg up, rather than shooting them in the foot.