Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Graduates' Job Market

Happy 37th to Atrios. And no, that has nothing to do with the job market. What does, is that it's very scary out there.

Shall I fight back the urge to say that 'These are the times that try men's soles'? Of course, I didn't, and let's mention that women are a good half of lookers right now too. Had a chat on Eschaton the other morning with some one who went into debt to get her higher degree and is in a job market that is so bad that she's feeling comforted with the knowledge that she can wait tables just down the street if nothing else turns up. I recalled that a joke going the rounds when my parents got out of school in the last depression, a Ph.D. was also known as a Posthole Digger. Since they worked in a CCC camp in Mississippi, with Masters' Degrees, if you are looking, the effort to stimulate the economy might provide some hope for you, too.

From The Badger Herald, University of Wisconsin, comes the report that some job offers have even been rescinded.

As graduation approaches and the economy continues to weaken, entering a weakening job market is a daunting task for soon-to-be University of Wisconsin graduates.

Students in the School of Business are among the ones hardest hit by the waning employment opportunities, with a few students even having their job offers rescinded, said Director of Business Career Services Steve Schroeder.
According to Kathy Prem, assistant director of Engineering Career Services, future engineers are in a slightly better position than other students on campus, with only one student having an internship rescinded.

I did run across some sound thinking at the IDS News, for Indiana State.

Health insurance might seem complicated, but exploring options isn’t brain surgery.
As if landing a job after graduation isn’t difficult enough, looking into jobs with benefits, such as a health insurance plan, might be the last thing on students’ minds. The decision not to look into health care options, though, might be a costly one.

IU Health Center Executive Director Hugh Jessop said 22 to 28 percent of students at IU do not have health insurance, and though they might think they’re invincible now, they should take time to consider jobs for more than just a salary.

“People don’t understand where all the money is,” Jessop said. “What you need to do is draw up the businesses and look into the benefits, such as educational incentives, life and health insurance, vacation time and sick days. You must look at the entire package.”

While the idea of having a job with health care benefits sounds good to some students, many said they doubt they will have the option to get an entry-level job with benefits.
“Ideally, it would be great to find a job with health insurance benefits,” senior Mary Reisert said. “Realistically, the way the economy is now and the industry I want to go into, I doubt it will happen.”

Other students said the lack of knowledge of the health care system is a reason benefits might be overlooked.

Senior Bryson Bosson said he believes that if graduating students had a better idea of how insurance policies, premiums and deductables worked, they would find the job market and life after college less intimidating.

“If it were not such a hot topic issue, I don’t believe many graduates would give one job a second thought over another based solely on their health care options,” Bosson said.
Eleanor Kinney, professor of law at the IU School of Law-Indianapolis and co-director of the Center for Law and Health, said she thinks workshops would be helpful for students because they already have many graduation requirements to meet.

Kinney added that after teaching a health law policy class for 20 years, she’s still surprised to see how many students lack health insurance.

Kinney said she believes graduating students should take time to look into all possible health care options because not all heath care is the same.

There's no question that anything at all may be what you're looking for but it's a question you might keep in mind in making those applications.

Ideally, with a good attitude and hard work, we progressives may be able to work toward a public health plan that replaces with real health care the shoddy system we now have. With insurance companies hit as hard as other investors by the market downturn, existing tendencies to work for profits rather than clients' health has been exacerbated by their losses.

I heard a caller to WashJournal on CSpan a few mornings back telling viewers that as a nurse she saw patients constantly finding out that the insurance coverage they had paid for over many years just disappeared when they needed taking care of. Any reason for denying claims seems to be adequate in the bloated and indifferent system that America now has for those in need of medical care.

Every other 'first world' nation provides its citizens with health care. America can do it too, if we can fight through the barriers put up by the members of Congress who are bought and paid for by the insurance lobby.

The job picture is bleak in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, although the news here reports constantly that North Texas is above average for staying out of the financial collapse all around.

"We're starting to feel the heat," said Dan Naegeli, director of the University of North Texas' career center. "Talking to my colleagues at other schools, they're saying the same thing. I think Texas was a little insulated at the university level. That's changed."

Perhaps most troubling to him and his regional counterparts is the growing number of calls for help from alumni. Some have just lost jobs, including people who have worked for decades and thought they were nearing retirement. Others are contacting alma maters out of fear that they're about to be pushed into unemployment lines.
SMU career officials said the number of full-time job postings began to drop in late summer and is down 15 percent from last winter. Kerr said finance majors were sobered by news from two May graduates that prized job offers from New York investment banks had been rescinded. Other students returned from Wall Street internships with grim stories about the financial meltdown.

Well, just remember graduates, when you do start work at last, you will probably be replacing an older worker whose salary got above the level the company felt it could afford. Sorry, just another reality check.

If you job seekers are looking for a really good way to earn a living without destroying your souls, may I recommend lobbying for good works. Try it, you may like it. One good advocate that I know of is Health Care For America NOW. Yes, that's a plug.

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9:20 PM  

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