The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Recession, fewer jobs leads to anxiety among graduates on job hunt

Sitting at the computer surfing various job search engines, she slams her hand on the table with frustration when she finds out the job she has been waiting to hear back about has been filled.

With disappointment and irritation, she regroups and continues searching.

This is a typical afternoon for SMU senior Blair Sullivan.

“I spend hours each day searching and applying for jobs” Sullivan, who is graduating in May with a marketing degree, said.

“Not only are the amount of jobs limited, but with so many people competing for the same job, I know the odds of getting a callback can be slim,” Sullivan said.

With the U.S. labor market still struggling to recover from the effects of the Great Recession, unemployment rates are still shockingly high across the board.

The recession officially ended in June 2009.

However, the national unemployment rate continued to rise, peaking at 9.6 percent annually in 2010.

Although statistics show some signs of improvement, employment is recovering slowly, with the youngest adults (ages 18 to 24) among those most affected.

“This is a frightening reality that college graduates are having to face these days,” Real Estate Agent Denise Calkin, 52, said.

“When I graduated college, it was shocking if someone I knew didn’t have a job secured,” Calkin said.

According to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, in 2011, the unemployment rate among 18 to 24 year olds was 16.3 percent – almost double the overall rate.

Although unemployment rates for all age groups have a natural tendency to rise and fall with the business cycle, the youngest adult demographic is set apart with consistently high unemployment rates.

With May graduation on the horizon for many SMU students, the search for employment has been stressful and yielding little results.

“I knew finding a job would be harder for our graduating class, but I didn’t expect it to be this disappointing,” SMU senior Marisa Witter said.

Witter is a hard-working student, graduating with a major in marketing and double minor in economics and advertising.

Taking on this kind of workload and achieving her impressive GPA make her seem like a shoe-in to any job. However, reality tells a much different story.

“The reality of today’s economy has definitely forced me to make different career-related decisions than I think I would have if the economy were better,” Witter said.

Although most soon to be college graduates are passed the point of internships and are searching for an actual job, many, including Witter, have had to adjust this thinking.

“I recently accepted an internship in the hopes it will lead to a job,” Witter said.

Witter stresses that she was not even considering an internship at this point, but circumstances have forced her to change her thinking.

“When I realized this may be my only chance for getting a job then I knew I had to take it,” Witter said.

Adding to the stress of finding a job, many students are faced with the reality of being cut-off by their parents.

“If I don’t have a job by graduation, I have to move home to my parents house,” Sullivan said.

With May creeping up quickly, students are scrambling to get their affairs in order.

“At this point, I’m just hoping to have any paying job at all,” Sullivan said.


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