About half of all 2020 college graduates are still looking for a job, according to a recent survey from the employment website Monster, a stat experts attribute to new graduates competing for entry-level posts with young professionals who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Monster found that about 45% of 2020 graduates remain out of work and looking for a job, with 66% saying that they are not confident that they will find a job that falls in their desired career path. According to the Federal Reserve of New York, the unemployment rate for recent graduates in February of last year was 3.9%. That number rose to 7.2% by December 2020.
"There is definite crowding in the market," economist Brad Hershbein of the Upjohn Institute in Kalamazoo, Mich., told CBS MoneyWatch. "The people who last year didn't get the job they wanted displaced less-educated workers in jobs that didn't require a bachelor's degree. Now they are still looking to get into a better job, but are competing for the same positions the class of 2021 is going for."
One 2020 graduate, Tabitha Palmer, obtained a master’s degree in English from the University of Alabama and moved back home to Warrior, Ala., during the pandemic.
"I'm 25 — I should be out of the house by now, but the circumstances messed that up," Palmer told CBS, adding that she thought he job search to last for about six to nine months, however "COVID doubled it and made it a one- to two-year process."
Makayla Smith, who also graduated from the University of Alabama in 2020 and recently started attending a master’s degree program at the New School, said that she has applied to roughly 90 jobs in the last year.
"I either heard nothing or I got a rejection," said Smith, who is now employed through her master’s degree program as a resident assistant and tutor. "I would be unemployed if I wasn't in graduate school, which does concern me because not everyone is able to access graduate school."
"We were competing with the class of 2020 because they were pushed back from starting their jobs," added Marie Robert, 21, who graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2021 with a degree in psychology and recently obtained an entry-level position at GE Healthcare. "And we were also competing with people who were laid off from their jobs and were applying for entry-level positions, or wanted any level job they could get. I felt the pressure on the applications."
"Many of us hadn't anticipated that we would rebound so quickly," said Christine Cruzvergara, the chief education strategy officer at the employment website Handshake. "That is extremely positive — there are jobs out there. You have to make sure you are prepared, and you have to do your research."
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