Freshmen and seniors alike may need tips for polishing their resumes. The Federal Reserve chairman said jobs probably will be scarce for the next decade.
According to a BBC article published earlier this month, Ben Bernanke predicted it would take would take about 10 years to beat back the unemployment rate to the 5-6 percent seen before the recession at current economic growth rates.
Tim Johnston, assistant dean of the College of Business Administration, said Bernanke was not introducing any new ideas in his statements. Bernanke has always has cautioned that recovery would be slow.
“He wants us all to know that recent unemployment improvements should not be taken out of context,” Johnston said. “We would all like to see this problem go away, but the issues that created and exacerbated the problem will take some time to resolve.
Jozell Brister, associate professor of management, said unemployment recently has dropped from a height of 9.8 percent to 9.0 percent, but the jobs added to the labor market are just enough to meet those entering it.
Brister said she was unsure unemployment ever would reach 5.5 percent again, as that may not be a normal balance of markets. But she said she’s more optimistic about American’s creativity and productivity than Bernanke is.
“I’m hoping it will come down to around 8 percent in a year,” Brister said. “I’m not sure it will do even that, but I just can’t believe it will be ten years.”
Unemployment is a result mainly of the country’s heavy foreign debt, said Ian Shepherd, associate professor of management.
“Rather than creating new products and new services, we’re paying off the old debt,” Shepherd said. “The more heavily we get in debt, the more we trade out the future of our kids.”
The money America owes goes to foreign countries, causing a net loss of American spending power, Shepherd said. He said he worries that foreign countries will stop lending to the United States if it continues to spend more than it earns.
Shepherd said the best way to speed up economic recovery is to reduce the national debt by cutting spending. But Brister disagreed.
“In the long term, we have to do something about the deficit,” Brister said. “But I don’t see it as a good idea to dramatically reduce the deficit right now when we’re just coming out of the worst recession since the great depression.”
For now, students will certainly feel the impact of high unemployment, Shepherd said. Johnston said some businesses that used to hire recent graduates have been unable to over the past few years. But that shouldn’t stop students from making as many contacts as possible.
“Networking has always been critical to any job search, but this job market puts a premium on networking,” Johnston said. “You need insiders who can let you know about opportunities that are not being promoted.”
Bradon Owens, employer relations manager, said it is taking graduates from all universities longer to find jobs, so it is important for students to persistently seek out employers before their senior year. Internship experience will increase students’ competitiveness as well.
Students may have to be flexible during the economy’s lean season.
“Graduates have had to adjust their expectations for their first out-of-college jobs, in some cases accepting things that aren’t their ideal job,” Owens said.
Students can find guidance and resources for building their careers at the Career Center, Owens said.