CWR Student’s Forum
College Students Stay Positive Despite Unemployment
By Anthony Love
This fall and spring, college seniors will turn their tassels, becoming graduates. Partying, beer pong tournaments and all-nighters may still be a part of their lifestyles as they embark towards their desired careers. But, will there be any jobs for hundreds of thousands of graduates? Apparently not, indicated by various statistics. Cheyney University graphic design senior Jamal Groce stated that only one of his many friends who recently graduated landed a job.
If money makes the world go round, than it must be standing in place like a statue right now. America’s employment landscape is a barren plateau with more pink slips than signs for hire. The New York Times reported that the country failed to produce any new jobs opportunities in August, marking the longest dry spell in decades. America is in a $ 17 trillion dollar hole, while 9.1% of Americans – approximately 14 million people—are looking for work. The job market, which some experts characterize as a recession, has many people pinching pennies and stretching dollars.
Cheyney University sophomore Jasmine Edwards is trying her best not to sweat the country’s economic situation. “I’m worried. I am putting in a lot of hard work in school.” She is staying optimistic by not looking at things in a negative light. She is also managing her money which could be linked to a 3.6 % inflation rate, highest since 2007 according to usinflatoincalculator.com.
Consequently, African Americans and Hispanics may need more than a compass and maps to find work. This year, the unemployment rate among African Americans rose from 11.3% to 16.7%. “You have to stay positive. I’m not spending my money recklessly. I’m doing my best to save,” exclaimed Edwards.
Who’s to blame? The sophomore believes that everyone is playing a part in America’s domino like economic collapse. Take your between the sluggish demand for goods and services, bickering between Republicans and Democrats, America’s triple A credit loss, three wars in the Middle East, uncertainty over economy’s direction, and Europe’s economic crisis.
The recession is crippling recent graduates and loan providers. Twenty-five percent of college graduates defaulted on a college loan in 2010, reported by the Washington Post.
Uncle Sam, Sallie Mae, and other loan providers begin flooding its borrowers’ mail boxes and phone lines six months after graduation, so graduates like Shalom Stewart are opting for less appealing jobs to put money in their pockets, jobs that usually require a high school diploma.
Stewart accumulated close to $ 90,000 in loans. He works part-time at Vare Middle School in Philadelphia as an assistant disciplinarian earning $ 8.50 an hour. He is the only AD at Vare with a college degree. “I don’t like it. I’d rather be working in my field (Phycology), but I’m thankful that I have a means of income.”
Some are making the best of the nation’s economic situation. Stewart and other graduates are opting to go for plan “B”: further their education hoping to wait out and weather the nation’s economic hurricane. The Washington Post insists employment rates are higher for those who have advanced degrees. The White House’s financial team expects unemployment to drop below 6% by 2017.
Stewart isn’t “happy” working tenuous hours making minimum wage. “My time is precious.” He will begin pursuing his Master’s degree in 2012. “It’s the best thing for me to do.”
By the same token, those with bachelor’s degree garner low paying jobs with little room for advancement. Those who rely on their high school diplomas are getting bumped down the totem pole. Cheyney University senior Jamal firmly believes a college education is still worth the time and money. With a confident look in his face, Groce stated, “A college degree still means something.”
There may be a silver lining in the sky. Recently, hoping to iron out wrinkles in year five of the recession, President Obama pleaded with congress asking Republicans and Democrats to pass his $ 447 billion dollar job stimulus package. Jasmine Denials hopes U.S. politicians reach a deal soon. “A deal will be reached eventually. The economy won’t stay this way forever.”