I’ve been keeping an eye on youth unemployment for a while – which, naturally, has nothing to do with being an unemployed youth.
Anyway, a paper was recently released by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that makes some rather ominous proclamations. The papers sets out to study unemployment among college graduates – and the results are shocking. A picture says 1,000 words – so just look at this graph:
Urgh! That doesn’t look good does it? I mean not only does the US not have as serious a problem with youth unemployment as Ireland and Britain, but it is also the place where many aspiring Irish immigrants try to go. Mike Konczal over at New Deal 2.0 sums up the situation nicely:
This is a cohort with mobility, fresh degrees, low health care costs, low wage rigidity, etc. etc. I don’t shine the flashlight here to ignore the pain that those without college degrees experience in this economy. But if young people with college degrees can’t survive in the post-recession era, nobody can.
And it gets worse. These stats don’t even take into account the prospect that our college whiz kids might end up not being registered as unemployed because they’ve got themselves a job flipping burgers and are hanging around drinking low-cost beer in their parents living-rooms at the weekends:
As an Economic Policy Institute briefing paper points out, the unemployment rates might “underestimate the severity of the labor market problem for young college graduates because they do not indicate whether they are employed in a job that matches their skill level.” That can mean lower wages and a more arduous upward mobility path.
Irish governments claim that all we need to do is educate the yoof and we’ll be flying. But if the US – which has a stronger economy, hasn’t suffered as bad a crisis and has a better third-level education system – can’t learn itself to prosperity there seems little hope that we can either.
These figures shouldn’t shock anyone that lives in this country. Everywhere you look there’s young people unemployed. Everyone knows a few people with college degrees that are scrounging around on the dole.
I’ve said it before. The world has changed since our parents’ generation packed-up and moved abroad with their college degrees – emigration is no longer a fix-all.
We have to sort this country out… we simply don’t have a choice. And yet still, the new government isn’t making unemployment their key issue. Sure, they SAY they are. But actions speak louder than words and the present government is planning to cut jobs left, right and center to please our European overlords.
The coffin ship – transport to nowhere… coming to a port near you, if the new government doesn’t sort its priorities out.