College Grads Taking Low-Wage Jobs Because They Can't Find Career Work. Welcome To The World Of The Mal-Employed!

"Mal-employed." Yeah, that's a good way to put it. Don't expect that to change anytime soon, either. After all, as GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt recently said, companies are no longer moving companies overseas chasing cheap labor. They're moving to China, India, Korea and Brazil because that's where the emerging markets are.

These corporate parasites bought themselves giant subsidies and offshored their jobs. In other words, they sucked us dry and left us to rot. Maybe it's time we stopped encouraging kids to go deeply in debt to get college degrees:

These three Chicago women share more than just scraping by with low-paying jobs: They all have master's degrees and are unable to find work in their specialty areas.

There's even a name for their situation. They are referred to as mal-employed, a term coined in the '70s for college graduates who could not find jobs that require a degree. Instead, they settle for low-skilled jobs.

Even in rosier economic times, people with college degrees sometimes can't find jobs in their fields. But their numbers and the trend show no sign of easing during the slow and bumpy recovery from the recession.

Nationwide, about 1.94 million graduates under age 30 were mal-employed between September and January, according data compiled by Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

Sum said mal-employment has significantly increased in the past decade, making it the biggest challenge facing college graduates today. In 2000, Sum said, about 75 percent of college graduates held a job that required a college degree. Today that's closer to 60 percent.

Though the economy is growing and new jobs are being created, Sum said, those graduating in June are not likely to see major improvements. About 1.7 million students are projected to graduate this spring with a bachelor's degree and 687,000 with a master's, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

"We are doing a great disservice by not admitting how bad it is for young people (to get a job)," Sum said.

And the longer college graduates go without working in their field, the harder it is to land interviews for jobs where they would use their degree.

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