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January 30, 2022

Nearly half of grads working jobs they're overqualified for: report

Youth unemployment is bad these days, so much so that we devoted nearly an entire post last week to the insane rate of jobless young people in Spain.

Since the recession hit in 2008 and jobs were wiped out en masse, there has been real talk about long-term consequences for the world's youths. Suddenly, we're not just dealing with a few years of unemployment but serious, definable consequences for young careers stunted at birth.

What's left, then, is a world where colleges and universities keep spitting out kids with no place to put them.

It should come as no surprise that those graduates are being forced into menial work they're far too qualified for.

According to a new study out of the U.S., nearly half of working Americans that hold a post-secondary degree are employed in jobs they're overqualified for.

*Bing: What trade jobs pay the best?

The report, from the non-profit Center for College Affordability and Productivity, found a "new normal" of educated youths not working up to their academic standards.

Why? It's simple math.

As jobs vacate North America for cheaper pastures, not only has the number of post-secondary graduates not similarly slowed but increased instead.

In the U.S., between 2002 and 2012, the number of graduates in every phase of education (bachelor's degree, associate's degree, master's degree or doctorate degree) jumped dramatically over that decade.

Based on the latest data available, there are now 41.7 million post-secondary degree holders in the U.S. job market with only 28.6 million jobs to hold them.

So what are we left with? Taxi drivers (15 per cent had bachelor's degrees in the U.S. in 2010, compared to just one per cent in the U.S. in 1970) and janitors (115,520 in the States hold at least a bachelor's degree) working in jobs where their qualifications are ignored.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...