Every month the statistic from the Dept. of Labor either confirm our worst fears or give us reason for as many expert economists say “cautious optimism”. As of this post, unemployment hovers at around 9.5 percent, with signs of slowdown abound. The economy is on everyone’s mind, but allow me to introduce another way to look at what is currently happening.
Because of massive unemployment, and the private sector being so cautious in bringing new people into the labor force, what we have right now is an employers market. That is a term which denotes a situation in which there are more job-seekers than jobs available. Therefore, those looking to enlist labor can be a great deal more discerning than under normal, abundant times. This negatively impacts all job seekers, however this places an additional burden on those who want to be part of the workforce after finishing college.
The not so well hidden secret is that because of the difficulty in finding work there is a large segment of the population returning to school to better their chances on the job market. The downside in it, that is often unspoken of, is the fact that student loan debt is on the rise. As of August of 2010, unpaid student loan debt has ballooned to $830 billion dollars, with 300 billion of it amassed in the last four years. Further complicating matters, former labor has stated if there is no intervention on the part of the federal government, then the U.S. economy will not return to normal until 2015. Far worse than work disappearing, is the very real possibility of it never materializing in what may already be at least a half lost decade. The notion that collective debt is piling on with employment possibilities that may never return is not exactly the most reassuring portrait for the future. The fact that both parties are not addressing such a glaring prospect and are playing political games instead is unconscionable.
Why are these issues lost in the scheme of things? Is it that our politicians are taking an attitude of “wait it out”? Or is it just that the political will is not there to address these issues head on? Whatever the answer to these questions are, it looks like we are all along for a bumpy ride for the next few years to come.
Marc W. Polite