HOUSTON—Some may say this recession is close to being over. But many college grads have either been laid off or are still looking for work. The unemployment rate for college grads under 25 was nearly 10-percent in 2009.
39 News spoke to students at the University of Houston on Thursday, April 8 to get their thoughts on the jobless rate.
According to Forbes.com in 2008, the best cities where college grads could find a job were found in Texas. Houston was No. 1. But times have changed in the past two years. Many of the University of Houston students will soon graduate, and reality is already setting in.
"It is scary," said U of H senior Darrell Williams. "It's definitely, definitely scary."
What's scary is even if a high school graduate is thinking about pursuing a college degree, there's no guarantee of a good paying job.
"The jobless rate for college graduates is less than 5-percent," said Marilyn Wade, who's an assistant director at University of Houston's career services department.
"So in essence, even though the economy is struggling, job seekers are struggling ... if you have a college degree you have an advantage."
That advantage is keeping some students very optimistic.
"People working in technology and engineering should have no trouble finding a job probably within the next couple of years," said Josh Riffel, a junior computer science major at U of H.
These days, the reality for most 16 through 29 year-olds is just finding work.
"If high school grads are competing with college grads, it would seem that employers would hire the college grads because they will be more mature," said Walter Turner, a University of Houston senior.
"The idea of a high school graduate and a college graduate both competing for the same is disheartening," said Williams shaking his head.
"Even if they are working at Subway or McDonald's for instance, they should be volunteering their services for free," said Wade.
If you're a recent college graduate and have volunteered your time but are looking for another option, Target is looking for people right now.
"Our goal, for the internship program, is to convert our interns to full time opportunities," said one Target recruiter, who was on University of Houston's campus interviewing potential candidates. "Whether it be at our corporate office in Minneapolis."
So until the employment rate improves, it could be a long year for high school and college grads looking for work.
Last month, The Texas Workforce Commission reported that the local unemployment rate dropped to 8.5 percent in February, which was down from 8.8 percent in January.
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