Though parents everywhere hope to provide their children with better lives than they themselves had, many are claiming that, for the first time, a generation of parents may simply have it better than their offspring.
College has always been thought of as a ticket to fortune and fame—or, at the very least, a steady paycheck. Having scrimped and saved for their kids’ university fees, it comes as a shock to many parents that in today’s economy, a diploma doesn’t necessarily guarantee a job.
College kids in Milwaukee aren’t very optimistic about the outlook in the local job market, either.
AT UW-Milwaukee, Dane Varese, a political science Major, says that it’s hard to have a bright outlook when things don’t just look bad in Milwaukee, but all across the country. “I see jobs getting cut not only in Wisconsin but everywhere and it makes it difficult for someone like myself to have a lot of optimism,” he admits.
It’s no wonder that Varese feels this way. The news is constantly feeding him and his classmates a steady stream of hopelessness. Though his home state has seen a drop in unemployment—from 8.4% to 7.7%--the work force itself continues to shrink, with 21,000 job losses reported across the state.
One of the state’s associate economic analysts, Morgan McGowan of Moody’s Economy.com, says that even with the dip in unemployment, it’s not over just yet. “Conditions have not improved as much as the unemployment rate has,” he reminds citizens.
Manufacturing has taken a particularly deep cut, including over 1,000 layoffs from Harley-Davidson, Inc. The Briggs & Stratton Corp. engine factory’s closing has also severely affected the community.
Across campus, the same story comes from the mouths of Varese’s classmates: nothing but gray skies. With perceptions of such a dim future ahead, some turn to the advice of teachers and career guidance counselors.
Tom Bachhuber, a member of the school career development department, advises students to keep a “ground level view of the job market.” He says that looking at job boards and Googling jobs isn’t enough; students need to take a proactive interest in their employment and work through any openings available.
He also reports that while some areas of study feature jobs that are still in high demand following graduation, others are much tougher to find employment through.
Student’s aren’t alone, of course; many Americans are still refusing to spend much until the job market becomes more secure.