How Bad Is the Economy? This Bad

I have often said that in order to understand how bad our economy truly is, you have to have children at an age where they and their friends are getting out of school and looking for jobs. After five years of ostensible recovery, the job situation is brutal for young people. This was confirmed once again by a study of recent Minnesota graduates that was covered in yesterday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune. The data are even worse than I would have expected:

The post-college job market is still very tough.

Three of five Minnesotans with a bachelor’s degree don’t have a full-time job in their second year after graduation. Neither do two out of three Minnesotans with a new associate’s degree.

Think about that: sixty percent of young Minnesotans who graduated from college in 2011 still didn’t have a full-time job in their second year post-graduation. One shudders to think what the numbers would be for high school graduates.

Some degrees, of course, are more conducive to employment than others. But here too, the numbers are bleak. Even among graduates with a four-year accounting degree, nearly 30% don’t have a full-time job after two years in the market.

The dearth of employment opportunities extends to those with what would seem to be highly salable technical training:

Among two-year degrees, precision metal working gave graduates the best chance of having a full-time job 12 months after graduation – about 45 percent.

Here is the chart; click to enlarge:


The comments on the Strib article are interesting. Even in deep blue Minnesota, some people connect the dots. For example:

It’s quite clear we need to dramatically increase the number of H-1B visas as well as bring in 30 million new immigrant workers (of various skill levels) over the next decade. Not surprisingly, that is how the politicians are interpreting the data.

STEVE adds: This chart, based on Federal Reserve data, tells the same story.

Reagan v Obama copy


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