20% of Unemployed Have College Degrees

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I don’t normally watch CBS’s “60 Minutes.” Last night I happened to stumble upon a sobering “60 Minutes” segment by correspondent Scott Pelley — “Unemployment Benefits: The 99ers.”
I can’t find the segment on YouTube, but I did find bits and pieces. Here’s a snippet from “60 Minutes”:

The 99ers refer to an estimated 1.5 millions Americans who have been on unemployment benefits for the maximum 99 weeks, the longest period of such benefits ever approved by Congress. Unless Congress approves another extension, which our nearly $14 trillion national/federal government debt can ill afford, these Americans will no longer even have their unemployment checks.
As a country we are now in uncharted waters. A college degree is no longer a guarantee that one will find a job, even less that the job is high-paying or even in a field for which one was trained. As many as 20% of our unemployed have college degrees. This was brought home in the “60 Minutes” segment.
Correspondent Pelley went to a Job Connections meeting of out-of-work Silicon Valley job seekers held in a church in Danville, California. The meeting occurs weekly — a combination of jobs fair and support group. The people there are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who, as Pelley put it, “thought they’d done everything right: got a college degree, stayed with their company, and saved for retirement.” More than half of them had expected to retire from their company but now find themselves unemployed, some for over two years. Most of them had already cashed out their 401k’s, IRAs, and savings accounts. Every man and woman at the meeting has a college degree; a good number have a Master’s degree; several have Ph. D.s. All are at an age that makes them at once “too young to retire” but “too old to be rehired.”
There are heartbreaking personal stories:

  • MaryAnn Rose, 54, a former financial analyst, has been unemployed for more than two years. She was reduced to living in a truck with her dog before her friends took her in to live in their attic room. Rose had thought her stay would be two weeks; she has been living in her friends’ house for six months…and counting.
  • Judy Thompson, in tears, says she may lose her house that she’s had since 1982.
  • Sara Hubert may lose her family business of 23 years.
  • Jim Wyle has been job-seeking for two years. A former fiber optics engineer manager, Wyle has a part time job at Target, which pays him $9 an hour.

Here’s a video taken by someone who was at the Job Connections meeting. Footage of Pelley and the job seekers made it into the “60 Minutes” segment:

You can watch the entire segment on CBS’s website.

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0 responses to “20% of Unemployed Have College Degrees

  1. Worthless college degrees for everyone who can manage to take six years and get butt-deep in student loan debt to pay for them (forget insisting upon ability to actually earn a worthwhile college degree because that’d be “racist”) while making the job market less likely to hire anybody at all… thank you Democrats, you “social justice” idiots.

  2. Ah, the wonderful result of “hope and change”…

  3. this will fire your rockets! speaking of Silicon Valley-the Gov.of Calif.is trying to bring Russia into Silicon Valley,{industries} Calif people need to stand up,the Calif state legislature is full of communists,and total corruption. The USA needs to start making their own factories,and our own products in every field,we have the technology,pull back every ridiculous regulation from the EPA and the gov,{there are plenty} and start the USA rolling again.

    • remove the EPA restrictions? are you stupid? they’re there for a reason, to try and keep our oxygen and water from turning even more toxic than it already is and killing us all.

  4. Loss of good American jobs is the result of all the free trade that Clinton and Bush II pushed through so that the multinationals could pay their CEO’s more and we could feel good about our retirement portfolios. The joke was on the US citizens, who’ve now lost their ability to actually produce something and our “service economy” is just a bunch of slimey Wall Street scammers selling worthless or fraudulant paper (multiple times in some cases). Oh, well, I heard McDonalds is looking — and there’s some good home care jobs open for people who don’t have latex allergies.

  5. The worst part of being unemployed long term is the depression that goes with it. It is almost a sin to be unemployed in America. People tend to look on it as a sign of your laziness. They often assume that you don’t try to look for work. I have been out of work for over two years now myself. I am stuck in a small town (very small) with a terrible mass transit system and no car. Try and get a job in a small town without a car. It is nearly impossible. It completely narrows the field if you cannot take a bus or train. Every three months I fill out applications at local business. I look online for jobs, send out resumes and get nothing. It weighs on you. You feel horrible. It often seems hopeless. People say get out there and look. But with no money coming in I have to plan every trip out with care because it costs money each time I pay for a bus or a train. Meanwhile student loans are left unpaid and interest accrues on the original balances. If I could get a car it would all change, but I am not so sure of that either. What can you do when you have such limited options?

    • David,
      My heart goes out to you in your terrible suffering.
      If I were you, I would MOVE. Small towns, by virtue of its size, have limited employment opportunities. Do you have family from whom you can borrow the money to move? Make sure you do some research online first on which places to move to, which look promising for your area of expertise.
      You are in my prayers, and I ask Fellowship’s good readers to also pray for you.
      Explicitly ask Our Lord Jesus to help you. I’m serious. He will answer.
      God bless.

  6. I’m experiencing the depression that comes with unemployment too. That in itself is debilitating and people rarely do understand that you are in fact trying. I just received my M.S. degree, and have been looking for work for almost 5 months. I can’t even get a call back to be a secretary. I’ve done everything, networked, called temp agencies, everything. One job I applied for I was number 1,000 on a list of 3,000 people for one position. I don’t know what to do. I feel useless, and betrayed. All I was told growing up was go to school, get an education…but for what this?
    My family is always saying you’re going to have to settle for a different position, you may not find your ideal job now but take something in the mean-time. Take what? I can’t get a call back for even minimum wage jobs. I feel terrified, depressed, i spend all day searching for work and all night crying.

    • cc, you are in my prayers. I wish I could do more. Trite words of assurance may comfort for a moment, but sometimes it makes it worse, especially when the assurance feels like a lie. Please don’t give up.
      Behind my back, members of my family talk about how lazy I am. If I had a degree, then I’d have a better job. If I just tried harder… I worked for the airlines, but that wasn’t a “real” job. In my family, a real job meant engineering or something else with a degree. (Never mind that the only reason I didn’t flunk out of high school calculus was because I withdrew from the class.) So, I left my job with the airlines, at more than double the minimum wage, and raises yet to come, good health insurance, and other benefits. I went back to school, earned an AAS and two certificates and haven’t found a job that paid as well as my airline job. They still think I’m lazy. They still think I don’t apply myself. They still think I should have majored in engineering. I do like what I do now, but I don’t make a living wage. Living at home at least is an option, and for that I feel blessed.
      Is there someplace you can volunteer? It helps me to feel like I’m contributing. It doesn’t make the problems go away, but it does give a breather from the worry because you’re focused on something else, if only for a little while.
      May God bless you.

    • cc,
      My heart goes out to you in your suffering. Please don’t give up; keep trying. And please please do something about your depression; that’s even more debilitating than being unemployed. Here are some suggestions offered to you in the spirit of empathy:
      1. Exercise! Maintain a daily regimen of exercise. When you feel the depression coming on, go out and walk. I guarantee by the time you return home after half an hour of walking around your neighborhood, you’ll no longer be depressed.
      2. Eat right: eat healthy (vegetables, fruits, low fat).
      3. Volunteer to help someone else, if only for an hour a week.
      4. Pray: Pray for guidance, enlightenment, strength, forbearance; and offer your suffering to Christ, against whose sufferings our own will always be puny.
      In other words, you need to be in fighting shape in body, mind, and spirit. Think of it as war. Remember: Depression is from the devil. You are in my prayers, and I’m offering my day to you.
      Please give this a try. Then come back here and tell us how you are. I send you a big hug over cyberspace….


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