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Job Market Faces New Problem, Hitting One Unlucky Group Really Hard

Job Market Faces New Problem, Hitting One Unlucky Group Really Hard

It's not as if the job market is blazing hot for anyone lately, but new data shows that one key demographic group that has historically been a leader, is now badly falling behind.

According to Nick Colas, the chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group, recent graduates under 25 years-old are in a particularly bad spot right now.

"It's usually college grads that do well," Colas says in the attached video."They get the first time jobs, they're pretty cheap to employ, and generally have pretty high job satisfaction."

But, he says since the recession new government data shows that this unlucky group stands out in three key ways like never before.

  • Overqualified: 52% of recent grads are in jobs where a college degree is not required. Colas calls this the "most startling" new problem and says it clearly leads to high job dissatisfaction, which itself leads to other problems.
  • Job Hunting at Work: Almost one in three recent grads admit to looking for a new job while on the clock at their current job. "While they're at work doing job A, they're looking for job B," he says.
  • Huge Pay Cuts: Despite ever increasing average tuition costs for a four-year degree ($63,000 public, $130,000 private), the pay-out when the cap and gown comes off is actually going down. In fact, Colas says recent grads now earn about $3,200 less today than they did in 2000. "It's much less, up to 30% less in many cases," he says.

Of course, the driving factor behind this new post-collegiate hardship is a very sluggish recovery following the great recession of 2008. Another facet adding to the problem is the fact that fewer people are retiring at age 65, and are choosing to work longer to beef up their retirement nest-eggs which were slammed during the financial crisis.

"Older workers are actually the big growth area," Colas says, and "younger workers are the ones that are really taking it on the chin." He calls this structural employment problem ''a big change" from prior recoveries and says the findings raise an important question.

"One is, what does college prepare you to do?" he says. "That's a big problem because colleges charge you a lot of money, but you don't necessarily get a big pay off at the end of it."

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