I know that we have a bad economy, so bad that we have a not-yet-President who is running the country from the Chicago Hilton so that the markets don’t implode while Bush gives pardons for cronies.

But can we just take a minute for a reality check? It’s not really bad for people who are young. It’s a part of the world you don’t hear much about in mainstream media. Think about it. Most media is in NYC, and you don’t make a lot of money as a writer, so most people who are writing in the tri-State area are married to bankers. Yes, this is a huge generalization, but it is a stereotype because it’s true.

Two neighborhoods—Montclair, NJ, and Park Slope, NY—are the bastions of media elite married to banker elite. And it’s a combustible moment there, demonstrated by how we get a lot of reporting about how sad it is for the bankers right now. Who are mostly middle aged.

And we get a lot of reporting about how sad it is for older people in the workforce because those are the people getting laid off. The baby boomers love to report about how much discrimination there is against them. And they have huge pulpits to report that from.

Of course, don’t get me started. The baby boomers had a great run spending tons of money they didn’t have and then bitching that the economic rug is pulled out from under them. But there is no mention that Gen X never even had a good run. How about reporting that?

But okay. This is not the point of my post. After all, if you write a Thanksgiving post, it must be upbeat and not grouchy. But also, I will not write a purely upbeat post because then I’d be in the league of all the people who are going to blog about how much they love their family and how great their family is—blah blah blah. And I should remind you you that it was none other than Tolstoy who said that all happy families are the same. And that is why you should never write about them.

But the adage that happiness is boring is true for everything. For example, it is true in the list of sex scenes that stink. (Thank you, Ben Cascnocha, for knowing I would love that link.) You need to have tension in a good sex scene, like maybe the guy can’t get an erection and wants to slit his wrists. Or something less tense but still a little tense. Surely you can imagine.

Okay. So I can’t be all good cheer or I would bore you. But I am doing my Thanksgiving post, so here: the niceness, the let’s-all-feel-good thing, is that young people are doing fine in this economy and people should start reporting it.

The not-feeling-so-great thing is that, in the case of everyone but the young, the economy is only good for star performers. But really (and here is the part of the post you should skip if you want Thanksgiving bliss) I have been ranting and screaming for years that the best way to have a good life is to be a star performer at work because that gives you the most flexibility to get what you want out of life. Don’t be a star performer for money. Be a star performer so that in an economy like this, you don’t have to worry about a paycheck.

But—I know someone will ask—here is the evidence that things are fine for young people:

1. Jobs for low-level candidates are increasing. This data comes from a report from Beyond.com issued on November 14: In October 2008, jobs for candidates with 0-3 years of experience increased by 3.68% when compared to jobs posted in September 2008. This was the only category of jobs by experience level that did not decrease over the previous month.

2. There are plenty of entry-level jobs to be had. There is a backlog of entry-level jobs that have been going unfilled for years. Alan Schweyer of the Human Capital Institute said just three weeks ago, sitting next to me on a panel, that the unemployment rate for college grads has been at 0% for the past seven years. (ed. – Alan Schweyer has a great comment toward the bottom of the comments clarifying this statistic.) In the middle of 2008, Robert Half, a recruiting agency for accounting and finance, said that accounting firms have been so chronically understaffed that we’d have to have a five-year recession for them to catch up.

3. College grads are doing fine in today’s market. On November 19, JobFox announced that, “Skilled professionals remain in demand despite the economic downturn. While the unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent in October, the unemployment rate for professionals with college degrees remains manageable at 3.1 percent.”

So I know what you’re saying. If things are so great for young people, then why is Obama creating 2.5 million jobs from the Chicago Hilton? The answer is that unemployment is insanely high for older people: Yesterday, Fox News reported that the unemployment rate for people over 50 is nearing 50%.

I’m not saying things are great in the U.S. (Though I do love Obama.) What I’m saying is that young people shouldn’t be thrown by the bad news that old people are pushing. Things are not that bad if you’re beginning your career. Think big, ask a lot of the world, demand respect and fun and a high learning curve. You will annoy people, for sure, but young people annoy older people in a good economy too.

145 replies
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  1. Rimrock
    Rimrock says:

    Owned…..

    “President Bush has pardoned fewer people – 171 – than any president since World War II – President Bush’s pardons have been low-risk politically. The pardonees were onetime offenders who got very little or no prison time for crimes that occurred long ago.”

    I see no longtime friends on the list.”

  2. Ben Bleikamp
    Ben Bleikamp says:

    I graduated from college in June of 2008 (6 months ago). I am surprised by all the negativity here. Having a college degree does not entitle you to a job. You still need skills that add value to a company. If all you can do is file papers, then you’re probably not going to get paid more than anyone else who files papers.

    There isn’t really any secret to getting a good job – if you have marketable skills and kick ass at what you do, you’ll get a job. I spent college doing freelance web design. When I graduated, I magically had plenty of job offers and spent 4 months waiting until something I actually wanted to do came along – no lame career fairs, no boring internships. As an undergrad I ended up getting the average salary of the MBA graduates. A friend of mine just did the same thing in a completely separate industry.

    Stop with all the negativity and look at what you can do. Be honest with yourself as to whether your experience and skills actually translate into a solid hire.

    I’m asking myself – €“where are all these employed college grads living??? Not in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, or San Diego. Amanda

    And yes, I am a recent college graduate living (comfortably) in San Francisco.

    • D
      D says:

      Web design? Seriously? Is this 1999…

      Or can you enlighten in what field you hit it big? And do you make enough to buy a place in San Francisco or just rent and live with roommates…

      As for making as much as an MBA, that isn’t too hard b/c everyone and their brother was getting an MBA after the tech bubble, and I know many MBA’s who make squat… now if they are MBAs from Harvard or Wharton, maybe we’ll take notice :)

      Congrats on the job, but from your posting I don’t see what makes you so employable — what skills are you bringing to the table as an entry level employee. I know it can’t be web design…

      • Ben Bleikamp
        Ben Bleikamp says:

        A) Do you think the websites you read and look at are built magically? Web design is a career for thousands of people and I was able to make $40,000 a year out of my apartment doing it through college.

        B) I am now a user interface designer/engineer in San Francisco, and I rent an apartment at $2300/mo without roommates. I do not know any recent college graduates who buy places…anywhere?

        C) The skills I bring to the table are 5 years of experience building user interfaces and user experiences. Given that tens of millions of people use the web every day and software is moving to the web rather than the desktop, I am not sure you can discount it as a “make believe job” anymore. Maybe you just don’t understand technology?

  3. Reality Check
    Reality Check says:

    I come to this blog to see just how insane a self-righteous blowhard can be. Clueless does not describe this woman. For you youngans, you better be grateful if you find a job in this horrid economy and you better be prepared to work hard.

    For you boomers out there, generally yeah, you screwed us all. Own it — you are the first debt generation and your entitlement mindset put us here. Not all boomers are bad, in fact, more than a few have been great to me.

    As for us Gen-Xers, don’t even think about moving up as the Boomers are going to die before retirement. They have no savings and their overpriced homes won’t sell for 1/2 of what they think. We’ll get ours, it may just be another 15 years.

    For all: get out of debt and stay out of debt asap. It is going to get far worse.

    • John
      John says:

      Reality Check describes it well: P is clueless and makes up a lot of feel-good drivel that I think she actually believes. Talk to any recent grads–or college guidance counselors for that matter–and they’ll laugh when they hear what she’s saying. But look at her own career trajectory–not exactly spectacular. But she gives other people advice for a living. Kind of like Ford and GM advising the Japanese how to run their car companies.

  4. vinny
    vinny says:

    I was hoping that you gen x’ers,gen y’s and even the silent generation members remember that the Salem witch trials were fought along generational lines.

    It seems likely that the boomers will be a major political force at least until the middle of this century.

    We want to work, we’re not choosy, and we will pay you back. Don’t worry be happy.

  5. Pirate Jo
    Pirate Jo says:

    That article describing the debt behavior of the Boomers … wow! That guy feels exactly the same way I do. The birth rate statistics stopped at 1980 on his graph, but I know the birth rate among homegrown Americans is down, and we are only maintaining a stable population because of immigration. What I am really curious about, is whether immigrants practice the same foolish financial mismanagement as described in the article. I suppose some of the poor ones got suckered into the easy credit mess, but the IT people I work with from India seem to have a very responsible and grounded mindset.

    I am one of those poor saps who keeps living within my means and paying taxes to bail out the stupid and irresponsible borrowers and lenders. But if more of our population comes from immigration, and they come here without the entitlement mindset, maybe there is some hope.

  6. Doc
    Doc says:

    1 – Penelope: Leave your politics at the door, please.

    2 – Use more than just a person sitting next to you on a panel to get your entry level employment data. The best two sources are the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University and NACE. That is if you value research where n = (more than just) you on a panel.

  7. Sophie
    Sophie says:

    Point #1 completely contradicts 2. And point #2 is impossible.

    Nice to hear some optimistic data but a cool follow up would be unemployment and underemployment for different college majors versus years out of college.

  8. Marc
    Marc says:

    umm…. the vast majority of bankers – at least the nyc kind – are under 35. I don’t think the qualifies as middle aged.

  9. Utopian Mercenary
    Utopian Mercenary says:

    Oh my, where to begin.
    Let’s see. Everything wrong in the economy is the boomers’ fault according to Gen Xers and Ys with MBAs. How many of these clowns in the banks,etc. are MBAs? And how many are non-boomers? There’s plenty of blame to go around. I have seen countless people come out of college with business and marketing degrees who think they’re entitled to huge starting salaries,etc. right out of the gate. It’s not a generational thing, it’s the corporate mindset that’s become part of our culture. We are becoming a nation that can make nothing but money, and the people on Wall Street and the banks are our heroes (or at least they were). The craftsman, scientist, tool and die maker, and engineer don’t matter any more even though they’re the ones that built America. And I’d like to see some you Xers and Ys walk up to say, an iron worker who is a boomer and tell him what a bum he is for causing all your misery. Thanks Penelope for telling us what to be afraid of and who’s to blame.

    • John Michael
      John Michael says:

      Do we still have iron workers? Or have they outsourced that to China, India, Phillipines, Mexico…

      We have to stop pushing keyboard keys and stop the flow of crap that arrives every day in those 55,000 containers and start MAKING IT IN THE USA!!!

    • Reality Check
      Reality Check says:

      Broadly speaking, yes, it was the boomers who started this nightmare as they were the 1st generation to take debt to new levels of bondage.

      To be fair though, some of the greatest entrepeneurs are boomers too: Gates, Jobs, etc.

      Just because someone has a lower income doesn’t make them innocent either. Did your iron worker take out a mortgage he couldn’t possibly re-pay? Who is going to help this “poor” man? That’s right, the generations after him will have to foot the bill. It’s not that Gen-X is better by any means, it just started with the boomers.

      You are right that it is our entitlement mentality and greed overall — and I have to say, that’s what makes Penny’s articles so great to read as she has got to be the poster child for this self-centered thinking. I (seriously) thought her writing was “just-for-fun” joke articles till she got canned from Yahoo! — then I realized she really meant this garbage. Very disturbing to say the least.

      To all of you younger than Gen-X, see the news for yourself: it sucks out there and it’s getting way worse. Get real with your expectations and work hard if you are lucky enough to find a job. Nobody cares if you have a life or not, that’s why it’s called “work” and not “play”.

      • vinny
        vinny says:

        Gen-X,Gen Y’s,Boomers.Silent Gens should remain optimistic.
        With the Republicans in disarray there is hope that the a significant national course correction is underway, hence the comparisons of Obama to FDR.
        You have a right to a life and meaningful work,a goal the American people have been striving for since the 1870’s.
        We should care about if the other person has a life or not. Without that sense of society,unity, we are in trouble. The GI generation faced the Great Depression and WW2.

        Their unity with other generations pulled all them through. Gen-X, Gen-Y, and the Boomers (plus the Silent Generation of course) will get their shot at redemption.

  10. Utopian Mercenary
    Utopian Mercenary says:

    Fair enough, Reality Check. I would like to see some data on the ages of the people that took out subprime mortgages or ARMs that they can’t pay now. Boomers that were trying to move up too much? Younger people just starting out? My guess is both. I am confused as to why Penelope apparently wants to pit one generation against another. It solves nothing, and does nothing but build resentment in the workplace. But then our political campaigns have turned into “us vs. the evil them” and “[insert demographic group name here] is the cause of your problems” so why should it be any different here?

  11. Graduate with no job
    Graduate with no job says:

    I graduated in May 2008 with honors. I feel I did everything that was possible to look good for employers. I have no job offers to report. Not one. Whats crazy is how employers send rejection letters acting like there were better candidates. But when I go and hunt down recruiters to ask them why the truth comes out. There is a hiring freeze for a lot of companies.

    • grecnorca.aim
      grecnorca.aim says:

      @ Graduate w/out Job

      I dont think its very surprising you would not have a job offer considering this is the most dire economy in 40-50 years. It takes a little luck even after all the hard work –and right now there isn’t a whole lot of luck floating around. Companies don’t admit to hiring freezes (among other things) because they may want to leave the door open to hire that one person they really need, no need to tell the world all of their intentions. Hang in there as good things come to those that wait.

  12. Gene
    Gene says:

    There are just two things I have to add to this particular entry and thread. First, the demographics of those unemployed spans the working age spectrum and to ignore that fact is to do an injustice to any and all of those who are facing it. Second, if I read the age range for Gen X correctly (give or take a year or two on each end of it) and from different sources, aren’t you all a bit old to be angst-ridden, rebellious teenagers? Even elder Gen Y/Millenials are already in their 20’s. That being the case, they could argue that you are now as much a part of the problem you perceive there to be as the solution you believe you bring to the table.

  13. Dale
    Dale says:

    This too shall pass. Everything we see is part of a cycle. Sometimes the wave crests higher, sometimes lower, but everything we see has happened before and will be solved similarly.
    My2centsworth

  14. The truth
    The truth says:

    I don’t understand where you getting your data from… and all of them are soooooo wrong. Please get the numbers right and stop quoting sites like jobfox (which itself is going through layoff) and they make money by selling services to recruiting companies.
    more Older people getting laid? where are you quoting this from?
    There might be some in Montclair…– what the heck you talking about? Most Elite Bankers live in Summit or Millburn….Including Jim Cramer?- Please stop and verify your data before you quote and the HR magazine as well where you wrote a repeated article with no related data. Please take some time out to do some real research.

  15. Ron Ulrici
    Ron Ulrici says:

    I’m older than the Baby Boomers and could care less. I also don’t like generalizations of any kind, let alone about “generations.” I don’t complain about my lot in life and am more passionate about my profession today as I was 30 years ago.

  16. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I stumbled upon this post ironically looking for information on what jobs are still hiring in this economic sh** hole, and I always find the same things: accounting, nursing, technical jobs, etc…But this is FAR from the reality I’ve encountered here in Los Angeles, CA. My husband graduated in May from accounting and he has not been able to find ONE single full-time/part-time job. The closest he has gotten is a temporary job as a clerk that lasted one month. For nurses it’s not so great either, with strikes and layoffs left and right.

    I graduated with a Bachelor's in honors English last year, and I am not in a great position either. I work for a local newspaper, and although I get paid well, my hours are ONLY 7.5 per week because my hours were cut (the advertisement department was not doing so well). However, let me not mislead you, before my hours were cut the total time allotted for my duties were 8. I work for another company that is also a startup and it’s supposed to be full-time, but unfortunately this company has not had a stable work flow this entire year; I have not worked for this company since Oct. 23, and before that there was a work gap from Aug. until Sept.

    What caught my attention was your advice about being a “star” at your job. Well, I am a STAR at my jobs, and I still do not have something stable to fall back on. I have made a lot of sacrifices for my jobs, and I still have not seen the rewards yet. Now I know I am a star at what I do because my bosses continually tell me so, but they cannot “reward” me so far because there is no extra money or hours to give. My only reward so far is reassurance that I am one of the best, and the joy I get from doing my job well.

    So I am in a dilemma, should I quit after my first year anniversary in January, or should I stick-it-out in hopes that things will get better? Either way I am taking a huge risk as the main provider of a family of four. I have been looking for available “editing/writing” jobs since July and I’ve encountered that most jobs in this field require 2+ years of experience to begin. I’ve applied to jobs that I could do while still working at the newspaper for 7.5 hours, but no one will hire me because I am still employed.

    So what now? What advice do people have for writers/editors whom people feel are unnecessary in a recession?

  17. matt murray
    matt murray says:

    i’m a little late too this one. but i’m new to reading the brazen c. blog. this is wordy. but interesting…
    (by the way so sorry about the divorce and the eyes and the financing)

    as the founder of the american assoc. of young people, i’m here to say it’s not good for young people. the reason their is a back log of openings for “low-level” and “entry level” jobs is because they are low level and entry level. great! jobs are everywhere. line up to hold a stop sign up on while we repave this high way!” you with the curly hair, here’s a job for you, “wave this flag to remind people there are pavers on the high way!”

    india is minting roughly 190,000 MBAs everyear. china has 3 times the amount of engineers than we have working.

    domestic insourcing and pressure from our southern neighbors and other immigrants (you are welcome here, please pay taxes) continue to erode at all sorts of jobs from flag wavers to pediatricians.

    i could go on but i don’t have the leisure time too. (we are in a depression)

    average college grad, graduates with 2300 consumer debt and 22k in school debt. average american has 7k in debt. in february 08 alone 82 billion of domestic equity went into foreign hands (why does that matter? i’m not xenophobic but then it’s like giving your money to greedy corporations. the money stays in the corporations and the money stops circulating in your hands. on a larger scale, we give our rent, and consumer money to foreign interests and the money stops circulating in the usa and starts circulating in say saudi arabia or iraq (iraq has 3 times the cash reserves than the usa) and stops circulating here meaning less jobs here more jobs there and pow more depression. things get worse.

    read anya kamanetz generation debt. she writes for fast company new york times and village voice (or did)

    white collar jobs are leaving with the 50 billion maddof stole. ( i say we execute him right this second. seriously. kill him. we shoot convenient store robbers who try to take 200 bucks out of the cash register, we shoot bank robbers dead who clutch 2300 in bloddy cash! but we can’t because boomers are in collusion. the dunces (or greedies are in confederacy against us) (sorry tangent)

    readers. buckle in. spend less. make sandwhiches. drink beer instead of mixed drinks. learn spanish. (900m dollar market and growing) freelance. work with recruiters.

    and this go into these fields.

    healthcare. (nursing shortages and the people that support and sell to doctors and the 77 million baby boomers about to get sick (the coming generational storm-katlikoff)

    alternative energy. wind specifically.

    that’s it. pick one of those.

    don’t quit your job to start a start up. nibble. saturdays and week nights. get customers. then quit when u can bank roll yourself for a year. i would say 6 months but it’s 2009 depression. (oh and so your hair doesn’t fall out.

    penelope. you are a light in the darkness. keep shining. love your blog.
    thanks for writing.

    matt murray
    president
    american assoc. of young people.

    i do agree with you though penelope that the only way to have a job is to overwhelm and be a star.

  18. mike
    mike says:

    What are you smoking?

    Go do your own independent research, and take a look at the lack of entry level jobs on all the electronic job boards. Open your local Newspaper’s Job section, and attempt to conjure some makeshift opportunity. An entry level job is a myth, so I’m off to Asia. I’ll be back in 10 or so years when things have improved.

  19. bob frank
    bob frank says:

    on the contrary, there is quite a shortage of jobs for young professionals in every industry i’ve researched. graduated top 20 school in top 5% of class with 4 years internship experience. no prospects. what do u recommend we do?

  20. John Michael
    John Michael says:

    As long as we continue to buy stuff made elsewhere and receive 55,000 (YES FIFTY FIVE THOUSAND!) containers A DAY of things that could easily be made here in the US, the number of jobs will not be sufficient for you to get employed…

    As long as companies rely upon labor in foreign countries to be your “customer service” (is there such a thing anymore?) then the number of jobs will be sufficient for you to get employed…

    The Managers and executives of those above are NOT located in the United States.

    As long as we continually “SELL AMERICA” (our buildings, our highways, our bridges, our parks, etc.) to the world, the Cash will go outside and fund the development of those countries.

    Need I go on? We’ve drained our funding…

  21. John Michael
    John Michael says:

    for example … a very visible AMERICAN company is AMERICAN no more … “Anheuser-Busch InBev was formed late last year when Belgium-based InBev, maker of Stella Artois, bought U.S.-based Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion.”

    and they’re closing things down, guess where?

  22. chris
    chris says:

    What is this guy smoking lol? There are nearly no jobs available for college students or graduates. It’s even worse for graduate students right now. Several of my friends have just graduated with law degrees, and MBA’s and they haven’t found a job yet. I hope someone will impeach Barack Obama before he spends every last dollar the American people have earned.

  23. Magnus Avery
    Magnus Avery says:

    I reside in the Inland Empire of California, and I don’t know where in the hell you are getting these sources of information from, but they are entirely false. I have been seeking work for over two years now, since graduating from high school so that I might be able to afford and attend Pre-Med in college, but there, and I will emphasize this, are NO JOBS ANYWHERE FOR THE UNSKILLED AND THE SKILLED ALIKE – NONE.

    I went to an In-N-Out interview at the local college last year, and THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE, I repeat, THREE THOUSAND PEOPLE were lined up for EIGHT POSITIONS! There were old people, middle aged people, teenagers and even people with COLLEGE DEGREES standing in that line FOR HOURS AND THE ENTIRE PROCESS WENT ON FOR THREE DAYS! Does this sound like there are jobs out there to you? I think not. And this situation is happening all over this state and many others (the Staples center had the same scenario unfold a month previous to this). There is no more work for the rightful, LEGAL citizens of America and our futures are being destroyed.

    So please, do the honorable thing and STOP adding insult to injury with slapping us in the face with lies and false hopes like what you’re spewing in this article – it is degrading to us all!

    By the way, why don’t you people write about something tangible – like how ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is destroying this country – 1 MILLION PEOPLE A YEAR! These people are a HUGE part of the reason we are all in this mess to begin with, remember the housing markets crashing and people getting pissed off because 85% of those home buyers defaulted and basically destroyed wall street? That was them! HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT THOSE PEOPLE ARE THE *ONLY* ONES GETTING THE 0 YEARS EXPERIENCE JOBS LATELY? THE *ONLY* ONES THAT ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE HEALTH CARE? The *ONLY* ones able to buy that shiny new Escalade?!

    WAKE UP, OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE WHAT THE REAL ISSUES ARE – AND FIX THEM! GET THOSE PEOPLE OUT OF HERE OR MAKE THEM PAY FOR THEIR NEEDS AND WANTS AND MAKE THEM SUPPORT “THE SYSTEM” LIKE THE REST OF US INSTEAD OF LETTING THEM BRING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE CRIPPLING DOWN ONTO IT’S KNEES BY MAKING *US* BREAK OUR BACKS TO SUPPORT THEM, LEAVING NOTHING LEFT FOR OURSELVES!

  24. Jobs for Teenagers
    Jobs for Teenagers says:

    I think I should agree with the above statement. It seems that your observation last year was wrong. I even read how a man begged for an hourly job which are commonly done by teenagers because he got fired after working for more than five years as a restaurant manager. It seems that this situation is not getting better yet and many teenagers got frustrated already.

  25. No
    No says:

    I have a 3.8 GPA after 2 years in college. I was unemployed this time last year. I am unemployed right now. I had a few months of work between then and now but the most I could get was 10 hours a week.

    A lot of older people who can’t find work in their field right now are taking up the entry level jobs. A lot of people who weren’t working before have started working and are taking up entry level jobs.

    Maybe it’s a good time to be young if you have the right connections. Personally, I can’t wait to be 40. My teenage years sucked because my Dad was laid off and my college years suck because I have to worry about if I can even survive!

  26. Accredited Degree Programs
    Accredited Degree Programs says:

    At last someone has something positive to say about the job scene in the country. I especially like the point about college graduates enjoying decent job prospects despite the state of economy. This further establishes the strong co-relation between college education and a satisfying career. The statistics speak for themselves as the jobless rate among college graduates stands at half the overall jobless rate in the country. So, if you are a self-starter armed with a college degree, you should find plenty of options in the job market. And if you want to join the skilled workforce of the country, then enroll in a college degree program today. For a broad range of accredited degree programs in high demand fields, visit CollegeAmerica.

  27. Dude from Chicago area
    Dude from Chicago area says:

    What you write might have been true about fourteen months ago, but in the present there are hardly any professional jobs for recent college grads. An overwhelming majority of grads are either unemployed or working the types of jobs they had in high school and or college.

    The criteria required for jobs is really starting to get frustrating. Just about every entry level job requires 2 plus years of experience! That is crazy. The jobs that require no experience have hundreds, if not thousands, of people competing for them.

  28. Ava
    Ava says:

    While I do typically find your blogging insightful, this post as well as another about overzealous jobless post-grad panic, I believe this is an entry that may deserve revisiting. Currently the unemployment rate for people under the age of 25 is at 20%.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052702303411604575168492894541142.html

    I know people don’t like to be barraged with statistics that are unwarranted so above is the Wall Street Journal substantiating my claim.

    I would like to believe that I am a reasonably intelligent individual who certainly served my time working and with extra-curriculars in college. I graduated with above a 3.9 GPA and membership in several prestigious honor societies. I have a Miss Congeniality title. I’m smart, sociable and in addition, I religiously follow your blog, so you know that I must be a carefully crafted interviewer.

    I have not been able land a full-time entry level position since I graduated.

    I think that this article will likely scare off several of your devoted readers because of its unfounded and aloof content. I think this is a shame since you are typically so wonderfully profound.

    I read a posting of yours once that said that people often don’t give feedback because it takes effort to reach out and help. Well, voila. Feedback.

  29. Fragbait
    Fragbait says:

    “Reason to give thanks: There is no job shortage for young people”

    You’re an idiot.

    There haven’t been jobs for young people in the past five years. The whole system has been tilted against young people even before the recession. Every job even prior to the recession has had the “experience catch-22”: you have to have experience to get work to get experience to have work. If you’re under 25 or over 40 nobody will hire you, flat-out.

  30. Realitybetraysusall
    Realitybetraysusall says:

    Woman please remove your head from your posterior, so you can cleary see what is going on around you. 40% of college grads can not find jobs, schools and colleges are revising curriculums turning 4 yr degrees into 6 yr degrees just to milk more money from students- a process in stock-broker world called “churning” just to artificially get more money out of a system that does not work. Schools are catering to foreign students because they are the only ones capable of returning home and finding jobs to pay off student loans.
    25% of private lenders have dropped out of the student loan market due to “risk aversion”. Our economy is about to collapse, the national debt now is officially mathmatically impossible to pay off. The only thing that keeps this faulty system running with impossible derivatives is the Chinese governement still being willing to buy our treasury bills, otherwise our government would shut down, we are bankrupt. Do not even ask about where the gold is that should be in Fort knox……

  31. Benny
    Benny says:

    The “delusions” present in this piece are understandable, especially considering the time at which it was written. It was written before the long-term unemployment/underemployment of college grads became apparent. Also, I believe I am familiar with the statistics that the article is based on.

    As far as I understand, it is true that young people have a lower unemployment rate than older people, and that “young people” jobs are being created. This would be a cause for joy and relief if not for the fact that the creation of “young people” jobs means the creation of jobs like pharmacy technicians and home health aides- relatively low-paying jobs which require vocational certificates, not college degrees.

    So, yes, the article was right in 2008 and it is still right now- undesirable jobs that pretty much only young people will take are still out there.

    • Shon
      Shon says:

      I’m happy for you. I’m still trying to get out of the U.S. I have an incredible idea for website, I’m sure tourist would love, and could make business flow a bit faster in New York City, but unfortunately I lack the funds to access the materials to complete the project. Just like you said in you commit. “At Best, I was earning 30k a year which is pretty bad. Lots of stress, a poor lifestyle, it just wasn’t worth it.” I’m going through the same thing, and trying to make it out. I’m even learning Mandarin.

  32. Stephen Allen
    Stephen Allen says:

    I love China. I’m a local American from Iowa, I graduated top of my class in Marketing with a Bachelors Degree. I also have an Associates in Applied Linguistics and Business Admin. My brother has a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. We both slaved away for low salary wages in the U.S. never getting to perform the jobs we went were chasing. At Best, I was earning 30k a year which is pretty bad. Lots of stress, a poor lifestyle, it just wasn’t worth it. I move to China, in 1 month I’m making 90k USD a year, paid transportation, paid living, amazing area, lots of other Americans, Germans, French coworkers, and lots of room for advancement. The grind is totally different. I guess I’m one of the few that “couldn’t make it” in the U.S. but in China I do fine, and employers are no stranger to the words “incentive” and “reward.” Theres a reason there are Millions of Expats in Shanghai. Most of them have degrees as well.

  33. Shon
    Shon says:

    The commits Agreeing to this article apparently can’t see the bigger picture. There’s suppose to be jobs for most levels earning a collage degree. You guy simply have the attitude of “I got mine, get yours.” Only ignorant to the facts of what’s really taking place. You better wake up,and realize what’s happening to us. If we don’t all come together to stop what’s happening to us. sooner, or later we are all going to feel the pain. If the next person to you is unemployed with little, or no means of income, that person haves less to no purchasing power, which means less to no business for the company you work for, I think you guys are smart enough to figure out the rest. For those that agree to this article.

  34. Mshook12
    Mshook12 says:

    What a miserable piece of writing, even for 2008.  Another idiot pretending to be in the know.  Anyone asshole who spouts fluff like “Think big, ask a lot of the world, demand respect and fun and a high learning curve” is a fool to the worst degree.

  35. top mistakes
    top mistakes says:

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