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How the Double-Dip Recession May Be Affecting New Graduates

Jul 11, 2011 Jennifer Williamson, Distance Education.org Columnist | 0 Comments

When a recession recovers slightly and then takes another plunge, it’s referred to as a “double dip.” They can have many different causes—often related to a reduction in the demand for goods and services because companies have made spending cuts and layoffs in the previous downturn.

A double dip recession is bad news for recent graduates. A vulnerable group in any recession, recent grads are often the last hired and the first laid off in troubled economic times. Here are a few of the problems you may be in for if you’re a new graduate in a double dip recession.

More trouble getting jobs. In a double dip, companies are often afraid to take the risk of expanding their employee bases—because they fear the demand for their products or services doesn’t justify the expansion.

This means fewer jobs are available. In addition, because so many people were laid off in the prior economic downturn, you’ll have much more competition than usual for the jobs that do exist—usually from more qualified and experienced people.

More vulnerability in the job you have

Unemployed

A double dip recession can have a bad financial effect on anyone—no matter how many years of experience you have. But recent graduates can be especially vulnerable to unemployment, underemployment, hiring and firing as a result

 

As a new graduate, you’re usually low man on the totem pole at work—which often means you’re one of the first to go if the company needs to tighten its belt. True, they aren’t paying you much to begin with as a new worker—but chances are that you haven’t been at the job enough to be completely necessary to the survival of the company yet. Because of these things, you may be among the more vulnerable employees in a round of layoffs.

More likelihood you’ll need to take a “survival job”

In a double-dip recession, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll have trouble get a job in the field you want—just because of a weaker job market across the board—and competition for those jobs is likely to be fierce. You may have to take any job, in any sector, to make a basic paycheck. The sad truth is that in a double dip recession, new grads’ careers can be held back for years as they struggle to transition from survival jobs to the type of work they want.

Less likely you’ll get health benefits

If you’re lucky enough to be hired, you still may not get health benefits—or health benefits that provide decent coverage. Many companies are cutting back on the benefits they provide to save money—and employees are suffering as a result.

College tuition could go up significantly

If you’re still in college, don’t think you’re currently safe from a financial backlash. The double dip recession has a strong effect on government budgets as well—and funding for public schools has been dramatically slashed in many states in the past. To make up the difference, many public schools have had to hike tuition. The same is true at private schools—with donations down, even these universities have had to hike tuition significantly in some cases. This means college students will be deeper in debt by the time they graduate.

A double dip recession can have a bad financial effect on anyone—no matter how many years of experience you have. But recent graduates can be especially vulnerable to unemployment, underemployment, hiring and firing as a result of economic difficulties. Of course, everyone’s story is different—and it’s possible you could land a great job right after graduation despite everything you hear in the news. Still, prepare yourself for a long job search when you get out of college—and hopefully it won’t be as bad as you planned.

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