Impact of Recession on U.S. Job Market

Global Business

It seems that even as America’s job market recovers, the impact of the Great Recession lingers. For recent college graduates, finding a job that fully utilizes their education has become more of a challenge. Liling Tan looks at how college grads are getting by – along today’s tough career pathways.

It’s a 2-hour train ride for Gillian Kemmerer, who commutes from New Jersey into Manhattan two days a week for her temporary job as a recruiter.

But recruiting isn’t a dream job for this Columbia University graduate and holder of a Master’s Degree in International Management from the London School of Economics Gillian wants to work in the sports industry.

“I had a huge space of time after I graduated and even getting a part-time or an internship in sports can be a struggle so I thought it would be good to continue working on my experience and get into New York, and then on the side continue to pursue the industry that I want to work in”, she says.

Gillian is among tens of thousands of recent U.S. grads working jobs outside their chosen field, taking part-time work or accepting lower pay until they can embark on the career they studied. For a paycheck, many recent grads are also taking on jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree. They’re the “underemployed”: those working as baristas, bartenders and fast food workers.

Impact of Recession on U.S. Job Market

Impact of Recession on U.S. Job Market

It seems that even as America's job market recovers, the impact of the Great Recession lingers. For recent college graduates, finding a job that fully utilizes their education has become more of a challenge. Liling Tan looks at how college grads are getting by - along today's tough career pathways.
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According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the percentage of recent graduates who are underemployed has been on the rise.

The study shows that for recent grads between the ages of 22 and 27, underemployment rose from under 40 percent in 2007, just before the Great Recession, to a full 44 percent in 2012.

Regis Canning works at New-York based temporary hiring agency Temporary Alternatives, and has not only noticed an increase in applications for temporary jobs, but also an improvement in the quality of positions he can offer job seekers. He credits the Great Recession, which left a large pool of talent from which companies can pick and choose. Canning calls it a “try and buy” basis.

The Great Recession may be changing the employment dynamics for recent college grads, but as America’s job market recovers, there’s also a corresponding upside. For recent grads, this route is more frequently becoming a more common transition into permanent positions.