And that's just to break even with today's jobless numbers. Oh, did I say only 3 million? It could be as many as 7 million.
When I was a teenager I couldn't wait for two things (1) getting my drivers license and (2) moving out of my parent's house. It wasn't because my parents were abusive or anything (although, like most teenagers, at the time I thought they were); but because I was just very independent and wanted my freedom. I wanted to be out on my own.
That was 40 years ago. I'm so glad that I'm not 18 years old today. I dropped out of high school in my senior year and found a good job right away. But that was then, and this is now, and today even college graduates are having a hard time finding work.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, America's schools and colleges have a record number of students attending school as the population has continued to increase and enrollment rates have also continued to exponentially rise.
About 3.4 million students are expected to graduate from high school in the 2012-13 year. Now add to that, what the colleges and universities are also expected to award in degrees. That would total 7 million if everyone decided to look for a new job.
Where will all the high school and college graduates find jobs this year?
Now think about this: According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 8.7 million jobs were already lost between the start of the recession in December of 2007 and June of 2009, and including the long-termed unemployed who have already been out of work a year or longer (and who are no longer counted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), how will this affect the TRUE unemployment rate?
In their most recent report, the BLS says "The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.6 million. These individuals accounted for 39.6 percent of the unemployed." And here in table A-12 under "27 weeks and over" the BLS also reports for March 2013 that there are 4.6 million long-term unemployed (a year ago for March 2012 they reported 5.4 million).
Last month the BLS counted 26 million Americans as unemployed, working part-time involuntarily and those who stopped looking for work within the last year. The current national U-6 rate can be found at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But if we were to add all those who have been unemployed for a year or longer, the real number of the long-term unemployed skyrockets. I have put the number closer to 8 million (almost about the total jobs lost during the recession), and would include those who have exhausted up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits and were never rehired.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been effectively saying that so far, including the nearly 500,000 last month alone, about 8 million Americans have stopped looking for work and are no longer being counted or included as part of the labor force.
I have been unemployed for 4 years, and I know of people who have been out of work much longer. See a "99er" defined.
And with the total of all net new jobs that were created over the past 3 years, that barely accounts for the graduation rates --- MINUS all those who were either awarded a disability claim, retired early at 62, or retired at full scale (which for myself, would be at 66 and 2 months).
According to the Social Security Administration, (see the chart below) during that approximate same period of time (over a 3 year span from April 2010 to the present) an estimated 6 million Americans either went on Social Security disability or took a regular Social Security retirement (early or otherwise) -- so that would cancel out 6 million new jobs that would have been needed to reestablish pre-recession employment.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 5.87 million new jobs were created since March 2010 when the U.S. finally began adding "net new jobs" after continued monthly losses. The unemployed rate peaked at 10.2% in October 2009 when 15.9 million Americans were reported as unemployed.
8.7 million jobs were initially lost (from 2007 to 2010) MINUS 5.8 million jobs created (from March 2010 to April 2013) = 2.9 million jobs needed to break EVEN --- and that's before we add any high school or college graduates from the school years of 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Now think about 2013, and the 3.4 million high school graduates (mentioned earlier in this post) who will also be looking for work this year - - - and that doesn't even include the college graduates or high school drop-outs!
(Click below on the screen shot to see a chart with hyperlinks to government sources to reference all the statistics and numbers cited in this post.)
One reporter from the New York Times wrote, "For this generation of young people, the future looks very bleak. Only one in six is working full time. Three out of five live with their parents or other relatives. A large majority — 73 percent — think they need more education to find a successful career, but only half of those say they will definitely enroll in the next few years."
And according to a report released last summer from the John J. Heldrich at the Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, despite the depressing stories we've heard about the recent or past college graduates, the situation for their less-educated peers is far worse.
In the report he states that overall, only 3 out of 10 high school graduates are employed full time, compared to college graduates who are employed at nearly twice that rate (6 out of 10).
For those who graduated from high school in 2006, 2007, and 2008 in the pre-recession era, 37% are employed full time, compared to only 16% who graduated during the recession era. Nearly half are looking for full-time work, including 30% who are unemployed and 15% who are working part time. Another 8% are working part time and not looking for full-time work and about one in six have left the labor market altogether.
And I would surmise that, high school drop-outs are doomed in this post-recession era, and that high school graduates will only have a slightly better time of finding work.
But if you graduate with a PhD in engineering, and if you read-and-write-and-speak Chinese fluently (Standard Mandarin), and if you like to travel, and if you are willing to work for minimum wage while paying off $100,000 in student loans, and if you have a rock solid social network that's well-connected...then the world could be your oyster.
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