The political slogan “we are the 99%” caught fire last year as an economic rallying cry for the Occupy movement against the top 1 percent of income earners in the country. Now, statistics as percentages have been since used by the media to often describe the economic status of a particular group of people. This week, it’s “the 53%,” which is the number of recent college graduates who are either unemployed or underemployed. (This demographic is not to be confused with last year’s 53 percent–a conservative response to the Occupy movement.)
The concern among many, especially those graduates who soon have to pay off student loans, is whether or not a college degree is worth as much as it used to be. With college students seeking work in the service industry as servers, baristas, or in retail, it pushes out another class of people who have yet to earn a college degree. Needless to say, the competition among 20-somethings in job market is fierce.
Robert Rubin, a former Secretary of the Treasury and advisor in the Clinton administration explained his take on the current unemployment situation in the United States, and offered suggestions on what the government can do to get Americans back into the workforce.
A recent article in GOOD magazine takes another stance. If young college grads are going to have to live with working in the service sector until the economy improves, why not create more livable opportunities within that market?