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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    No jobs on the market

    It’s a warm fall day as Evony Maldonado glances down at her black Samsung cell phone, responding to a text. She casually sips on her iced “”venti”” sweetened black tea as overly enthusiastic moms talk about the new pumpkin spice latte Starbucks is offering for the holiday season.

    “”It’s really frustrating,”” Maldonado said with fervent hand gestures. “”I feel like before I graduated they tell you that there’s all these jobs available, and there’s going to be all this market for whatever your graduating in, and it’s not really like that. It’s really tough to get a job right now.””

    Maldonado graduated from the UA in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is still searching for a job.

    “”I have been trying,”” she said, noting that she works as a server at Sullivan’s Steakhouse. “”I haven’t just been sitting on my ass.””

    With our nation’s financial market plummeting and unemployment on the rise, graduation should put upcoming graduates on edge.

    “”I am terrified to graduate,”” said English senior Joyce Young as she adjusted and reorganized ’80s-inspired racks of clothes inside American Apparel. “”I am pretty sure it’s not going to be very easy to get a job right now.””

    Nobody attends college for their health. Most young adults get secondary educations to acquire better and higher paying jobs after graduation. But today, many professionals suggest students stay in school until the economy improves.

    “”It was my plan to go on to law school anyways,”” Young said. “”Which I am a lot more grateful now that I actually prepared for it, because it doesn’t really seem like I am going to find a job – especially as an English major.””

    Words like “”crisis”” and “”deficits”” seem abstract to some college students. But the ripple of the economic crash has begun to concern more than just millionaires on Wall Street and financial systems like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The effects have made their way down to influence young people thinking about the future.

    “”The economic upheaval that we see now is going to last a fairly long time,”” said Gerald Swanson, an economics professor in the Eller College of Management. “”Therefore the job market will be softer than it’s been for several years for graduating seniors,”” Swanson said. “”I’m saying a year and half to two years.””

    There is a lot of economic damage that our nation must correct before things will improve, Swanson said.

    “”The adjustment to get the housing

    market, and the trade and the debts and deficits in line, is going to take a very long time.””

    The national unemployment rate is currently at 6.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and national job openings declined from 2.5 percent to 2.3 percent in August, the lowest level our nation has seen since April 2004.

    “”The states that are new to us, that have been hit real hard, are Arizona, Nevada and California,”” Swanson said. “”All of us were high-growth states that depended heavily on new construction, and that has pretty much come to a screeching halt.””

    Arizona’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average, at 5.6 percent with 173,500 unemployed residents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    “”Arizona is not immune to what’s going on out there,”” Swanson said. “”Our state has been hit particularly hard with the downturn and construction of new homes. And it will take quite a while for that inventory of un-purchased homes to be taken off the market, and until that happens the Arizona economy will have a significant economic drag.””

    With less money circulating into people’s pockets, people are starting to cut their spending and pinching on luxuries they wouldn’t have thought twice about before.

    “”Our current financial market sucks,”” Maldonado said. “”Even working in the restaurant industry right now, the tips are worse. No one is buying anything. I’m not buying anything. Even ice cream, I’m like, ‘maybe I should save my $2.25.'””

    The R-word has been floating around the tips of tongues for a while, and yet officials have been reluctant to say it.

    “”I have no doubt whatsoever that we are going to be in a recession,”” Swanson said, defining a recession as six months of negative economic growth.

    Our nation hasn’t seen negative growth until now, Swanson said, and that’s why people have been hesitant to say we’re in a recession.

    “”You can have this technical definition about what a recession is,”” Swanson said. “”But in reality, this economy is headed downward, and it’s going to cause unemployment to rise.””

    This all seems like an inevitable dark cloud lingering above students’ heads, but not all degrees will be as affected as others.

    “”Healthcare services of any kind are probably going to be a rather safe and a good area to be in,”” Swanson said. “”The boomers, people born between 1946 to 1964, are getting into the retirement age, and as we all know, as people age they demand many more health services of all kinds.””

    Healthcare majors, including pharmacy students, seem to have many career options to choose from after graduation.

    “”A lot of people hold off (on choosing a healthcare avenue), not because they don’t have options, they just want to see what they like the best,”” said Jenna Carlson, a fourth-year pharmacy student.

    Stores like CVS, Walgreens and Safeway contact graduate students far in advance for job offers.

    “”There’s always the option to join, they start to contact us pretty quickly to sign bonuses with them,”” Carlson said.

    So while the health sciences appear safe, students in social and behavioral sciences, arts and humanities have their worries cut out for them.

    “”I feel like people would be more apt to hire an intern if they had the extra money to do so,”” Maldonado said. “”People are on such a tight budget.””

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