/Got a degree Be prepared for underemployment

Got a degree Be prepared for underemployment

Harris, 23 years old, was the editor-in-chief at The Campus Chronicle, Alcorn State University’s campus newspaper. She also managed a college radio station for two years and did several internships that covered everything from journalism to media marketing. Harris doesn’t like being idle. Harris stated, “I spent the entire semester preparing for my after college life — that is exactly what I’ve made it up to be, and that’s the afterlife.” Harris said, “I did a lot of things on campus. My constant work was known by everyone. Harris said that she was able to move from these positions to none and now hopes someone will hire her. Harris is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in mass communication and will be looking for a job. Harris stated that employers tell her all the time that they want this, but not this. Harris said, “But you go out and you find all the information they need about an applicant and then you quit. They don’t tell people to expect a callback.” A shallow labor pool. The U.S. economy has experienced a slow recovery from the Great Recession. The job market Harris and other college graduates will be entering is much better than it was in the past seven years. However, unemployment rates have not returned to prerecession levels. Many graduates find that the only way to get into the workforce is through jobs that do not require them to be employed. If a person cannot find a job, they are considered unemployed. Underemployment is when the person is not able to use their skills or work long enough at their job. A qualified worker might have a job, but not enough income to cover rent, food, and childcare costs. Molly Bashay is an analyst with Mississippi’s Hope Policy Institute. She is affiliated with Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Credit Union. Bashay said that young workers will have a harder time getting into the workforce than the average worker. She said that the average joblessness rate for young workers is around twice or three times the rate of the average joblessness rate up to age 25. The unemployment rate for those under 25 was 10.5% higher than that of the entire population in February. She said that this trend is consistent across all states, cities and even the nation. Bashay refers to the Economic Policy Institute’s findings that workers younger than 25 suffer greater-than-average shocks to employment in times of economic downturns. In a tight market, workers without job experience will likely have difficulty finding entry-level jobs. Young workers are more vulnerable than the rest to changes in the job marketplace because they have difficulty getting in. Darrin Webb is Mississippi’s state economist. “Generally speaking, it is not going very well in to start with.” We have seen modest growth, especially in Mississippi. Although we have experienced better growth than in previous years, it is still slow relative to other states. There are many aspects to unemployment. The Economic Policy Institute’s 2016 graduate analysis examines the Bureau of Labor Statistics U-6 measure of labor participation to account for structures such as part-time work. The U-6 alternative measure measures the civilian labor force by calculating the total number of people who are not looking for work and those who cannot find full-time employment. This rate does not replace the unemployment rate but is a different way to look at other factors that affect the labor force. Although the Current Population Survey data only covers 1994, it is evident that underemployment was approximately 10 percent higher than the unemployment rate up to about 2008. In 2009, however, the unemployment rate was 20 percent higher and the underemployment rate rose to 45 percent. Bashay stated that it seemed businesses could be more selective. Because there were more job seekers, they had more options for hiring. They preferred people with more experience and additional education. You could have been able to get jobs with any college, but now you need a bachelor’s or advanced degree. Employed-ish Alexis Ware graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in May. She was then accepted into the Newseum Institute’s Chips Quinn Scholars program for diversity in journalism, which supports and trains young journalists of color. Ware was offered an internship at NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington D.C. through the program. Although she has made connections with Washington editors, Ware is still unsure if she will be able find a job after her internship. She said, “Every company has a communication department” and she can both work in it and write online. “Maybe it feels like a cop out as a journalist but I’m willing and able to offer that. I have even considered getting certified to teach. Being a writer would be the best thing for me. No matter what my main job, it is to support myself financially so that I can publish a book. Startup solution Bashay stated that she has always believed that things would improve. Bashay posted a May 10 blog post in which Bashay listed the findings of EPI and suggested ways to address Mississippi’s problems. Bashay includes a graph by Hope Policy Institute partner, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that shows the majority of new jobs are created by businesses already located in the state. According to the graph, more than 85 percent all new jobs created in Mississippi between 1995 and 2013 were created by businesses in the state. Bashay stated that “we need to incentivize locally businesses to do more (and hire more)” so they can capture Mississippi’s resources before people have to leave. Our reporters give a human face to policy’s impact on everyday Mississippians by listening more closely and understanding their communities. 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