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Unemployed College Grads Outnumber High School Dropouts

Recent college graduates may own many copies of Oh, the Places You'll Go! they undoubtedly received as graduation gifts, but it's doubtful most are finding inspiration in those pages these days. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed people with a higher degree rose to 1.413 million in November, while there were 1.282 million looking-for-work high school dropouts.

No matter how it's spun, the November jobs report was grim and disheartening for existing job seekers. According to CNN Money, economists use the professional and business services category as a measure for the greater economy, and the November numbers revealed the largest one-month drop in jobs on record for that sector.

The unemployment rate for Americans with a higher degree 3.1 percent as of November, while overall unemployment was recorded as 6.7 percent. Dean Baker, director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, thinks that "College graduates are not going to get away unscathed," and added, "Students understand this is not going to be a market where they will have three or four offers."

Do you know any recent grads that are having trouble finding work?


Join The Conversation
adakatarina adakatarina 8 years
I graduated in May of ′07 and despite taking on multiple unpaid internships and freelancing (paid) opportunities, I still haven′t found a full-time placement. It′s so frustrating, you feel like everything you did to build a strong resume was for nothing. Hopefully things turn around before the next group of ambitious kids enter the job market!
My story is similar to that of many, I went to ivy league school for my undergrad (MIT) and got an msc at Stanford and looked everywhere i could think of for a position. I got a total of 4 interviews in 2 months. None of the positions were remotely interesting. Had 1 job offer but for a ridiculously low salary (i mean id make more working at a fast food chain). I'm looking for work in business development and sales in the biotech industry. I was told i was 2 educated for pharma so i looked into biotechnology and still no interviews. I recently booked 3 interviews for January and was only able to get these interviews by calling in favors from former professors and administrators at school. I took the list of professional contacts at companies from the dean's asst and started emailing them one by one. Anybody who wants a career rather than a job needs to network. I have not found a position but am convinced that 1 of these interviews will get me a decent paying job. Seriously the economy sucks but don't settle for bad wages, work part time but don't work for free. Good luck 2 all of you
Kat-E Kat-E 8 years
I graduated 2 years ago and have been really, really fortunate (though I did have 3 months where I was unemployed). My friends who graduated last year have had a terrible time finding jobs though. I have one friend with an Art History degree who graduated in May and still hasn't found work. I have another friend who got her cosmetology license a year ago and while she got a job in a salon, her work isn't steady enough to cover everything, so she's moving to a new city where work is more readily available.
itsamanda9 itsamanda9 8 years
I graduated with two degrees in April, and I'm still looking. To stay on top of my bills for now, I'm working part-time at a bank, part-time at Ann Taylor, and two days on the weekends as a server at a small restaurant. It's very frustrating, but it's comforting to know I'm not alone. I'm looking into graduate school programs for the fall.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
Does anyone this there will be a small upturn in "housewives" because of this? My boyfriend has a good job and if I have the same job when we are married I will be spending most of my time at home. And if we ever have kids I'm pretty sure it will be cheaper for me to stay home...
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
I know plenty of recent grads who are bright, self-motivated and pretty damn amazing who haven't been able to get a job in ANYTHING for months. I'm so incredibly grateful to have mine and I know I'm very lucky that it's something I've always wanted to do. I just hope I can keep it! Hearing other peoples' stories just make me feel thankful that I get up every morning and have a job to go to. It's just so incredibly competitive out there now - even more so than when I graduated a few years ago, and THAT was difficult for me. I think it's basically impossible now and that's so sad. I really hope this gradually begins to turn around soon.
zacatecanita zacatecanita 8 years
I graduated in June with a BA and have not been able to findn a job ye, is very discouraging. I'll keep searching but if I am not sucessful I will probably go back to school.
cpianolover cpianolover 8 years
The saturated job market doesn't seem to be effecting me or recent graduates I know. In fact, they were able to have a job lined up for after graduation before graduation.
blytheann blytheann 8 years
I graduated in May with my MA and more than 6 months later I'm still jobless. There's supposedly this "demand" for healthcare jobs (I'm a Mental Health Therapist) but it amazes me how I can't even get a call back let alone someone in HR who is kind enough to answer multiple emails or phone calls. We're doing okay with just my fiance's salary but money is tight. Oh did I mention we're also in the midst of paying for a September wedding? Depressed doesn't even cut it. I worked my ass off for two years to graduate from a well established university and as all of you are feeling, it means nothing. What are we supposed to do? I feel like I'm just going crazy hoping to work. There's really nothing to say to make it feel better. Hang in there everyone--thanks for making me feel a little bit better seeing so many of you struggling as's so easy to feel alone in this underemployment crises! :)
yoyo83 yoyo83 8 years
I graduated in May and still have yet to find anything besides telemarketing jobs. I am bored out of my mind and I'm hoping I get into Graduate school just so I can have something to do and occupy my mind. Stupid job market. UGH.
lizzyopal lizzyopal 8 years
i'm in this category. i graduated from college back in march and looked for a job in my field for months! eight months later i still didn't have anything. so i ended up taking a CNA class and got a job in a nursing home three days after i finished the class. it sucks but it pays the bills. now i'm planning on going BACK to college to get my nursing degree.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Ugh, how true is this? I just graduated from law school in May, passed the bar on my first shot, and still don't have a job. It's maddening!
acyl acyl 8 years
My boyfriend is apprenticing to be an electrician--NO shortage of jobs in that field!
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 8 years
I'll be one of those unemployed college grads in a few months. :sigh:
wambalus wambalus 8 years
Not only could I not find a job in my field with my degree, I couldn't find one with my masters, and now with my phd. I work in admin and restaurants just to squeak by, but good lord. Now I'm being told I'm 'overeducated' and therefore not suitable for jobs for which I'm applying! I can't f******g win!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that it's a really hard time for graduates right now - especially for those who went to school with the hopes of working in finance or something related. it's hard since there was so much promise even 4 years ago when they started and now - that's not the case at all. it makes me fearful for when i have kids and they are ready to go into the working world...
skukie skukie 8 years
I graduated two years ago with a BA and couldn't find a job for so long that I went back to my college job as a nanny. I recently moved to another city to start a teacher's certification program, and it took me a long time to find a job here. It's a temp job and I hardly get paid enough to pay bills and buy food. After I finish the certification, I want to get my master's, but I'm afraid that it's not going to help me get a better job in the future.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
I graduated 3 years ago. I looked for a job for a long time and eventually settled for a part time job and started taking night classes to get another certificate. It's kind of depressing. The job I have now is so repetitive and has horrible hours and no benefits. All my teachers praise me up and down for my work, but even they don't know anyone who is hiring.
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