Aside from the growing unemployment problem across the US, many people who actually have jobs are more likely to be underemployed. According to a study by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, about 48% of college graduates across the country are currently employed in jobs for people having less than an undergraduate or bachelor’s degree.
The non-profit research group published its report entitled ‘Why Are Recent College Graduates Underemployed? University Enrollments and Labor Market Realities.’ The same study also found that up to 37% of college graduates in the US are now taking positions that require only a high school diploma.
Lack of good jobs
Those underemployed college graduates are working as fire fighters, taxi drivers, telemarketers, and sales clerks. One of the study’s co-authors, Ohio University economy professor Richard Vedder said more people with bachelor’s degrees now have jobs. But he added that those employments may not be considered as good jobs.
Vedder is known as being one of the major opponents of the education department’s college for all program. For a long time now, he has been arguing that too many US citizens now go to college. He reiterated that there is nothing wrong with that but the fact remains that there are not enough jobs in the current economy that actually require those skills that are offered and taught in college.
There are other interesting findings of the same report. With additional data from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the authors have found that up to 15% of taxi drivers in the country as of 2010 possess at least a bachelor’s degree. In comparison, in 1970, only less than 1% of taxi drivers were college graduates. This is an information that many graduates and educators consider as very alarming.
At the same time, many analysts note that underemployment is not highlighted in employment reports. Economists usually overlook that information and only focus on employment and unemployment figures. If the unemployment rate decreases, it is not clear how many professionals have succumbed to the idea of getting a job that does not make use of their college degrees.
However, many observers also note that underemployment may come with underpayment. But many underemployed college graduates tend to be contented in their jobs because they are earning just enough dollars to meet their requirements and expenses. Most of those jobs are also not as demanding and as stressful as jobs that college graduates are supposed to take.
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