Costly College Degree … Today’s Labor Market Generating Jobs that Don’t Need It

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

April 7, 2016

Parents of college-bound graduating high school seniors got a rude jolt recently about the value of a college diploma in the moribund U.S. jobs market. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the coveted university diploma is often not worth the paper it’s printed on.

EPI research shows that almost two-thirds of people in the labor force don’t have a college degree, a not very shocking finding when viewed in the light of recent monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Consistently, jobs have been added in retail, or among food and beverage servers, which don’t require college educations.

Graduates have headed to the sidelines to wait, perhaps in vain, for a turnaround in well paying, rewarding jobs. A Census Bureau release, “Young Adults: Then and Now,” found that 30.3 percent of those age 18-34, which includes college graduates, still live with a parent.

George Mason University economist Veronique de Rugy summed up the Census Bureau report by saying that “the recession hit when some millennials were just getting out of college and so they went straight into the unemployment line. And then when they were lucky enough to get a job, usually there was a lot of underemployment going on, meaning not necessarily full-time and part-time jobs but also at lower salary than they would otherwise.”

Supreme Court decision could authorize four million new immigrant workers,
putting low paying jobs out of reach for Americans.

The EPI and Census Bureau findings come just as the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on April 18 regarding U.S. vs. Texas, the case that will decide whether more than four million illegal immigrants will get employment authorization documents and therefore be able to legally compete with Americans for increasingly scarce jobs.

If Obama’s Justice Department prevails, millions more will enter the labor market. Many will only be qualified to take service jobs which have represented the last port in the storm for some college graduates unable to find more enriching employment.

Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your representative to oppose amnesty, and restore Congress’ authority to write immigration law, a power that President Obama has unconstitutionally usurped.
 

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