Recently, there has been a buzz around the news about a double-dip recession. Suddenly, everyone is worried about the stability of the economy.
Not long ago, everyone was happy and confident that the U.S. was having a wonderful recovery, but as soon as the summer came many economic numbers started to fall, showing a slow patch. As if this were not enough, Europe and China have not been as strong as they have been in the past. China is the biggest holder of U.S. debt–about $1.16 trillion as of June 2011, according to Department of the Treasury.
Students are now facing one of the worst job situations in decades. Unemployment levels—like the ones we are seeing today—were last seen in the 1980s. Things are not going to get better in the near future; there is not a real catalyst that will decrease unemployment in the next couple of years.
The Federal Reserve is out of ammunition. Last month, the U.S. reached its maximum amount of debt allowed. Congress took as much time as possible to try to solve the problem while at the same time demonstrate some type of political propaganda for themselves and their parties without even thinking about the consequences for “their people.” As soon as the deal went through Standard and Poor’s downgraded the sovereign debt rating for the first time in history. People have started to question about how long the United States will be able to pay its debt.
How will this whole chaotic environment affect students?
First, one needs to consider the sky-high unemployment level today sits at around 9.1 percent.In reality. this number is a lot higher due to the fact that many people have stopped looking for a job and are no longer counted as unemployed. So, the job situation here is more accurately around 16 percent unemployment.
According to the most recent earnings reports that companies have produced, corporate America is now as solid as it has been anytime in the past. They are holding record amounts of cash in their balance sheets. This brings an important point to my attention because the unemployment rate we are seeing may not be something temporary. This type of scenario is indicative of a structural change in the economy where companies have figured out how to produce as much as before with fewer employees.
Life after college is about to change dramatically. Before, one could easily land a job before his graduation. It was a paradise for those who were willing to become educated and put in hard work.
Today, the world is going through some changes, and things are getting harder. It has never been more important to be ahead of the curve. Companies have hundreds of candidates for every position, and one needs to be extraordinary in order to be considered as the right one.
It is time for students to get even more serious about their education, networking and their spending. Jobs still exist out there, the only difference is that there are more people looking at any given time, which boils down to higher competition. For seniors and juniors, this might be the time to consider taking some extra classes in order to get either a double degree or a minor. Even going to graduate school is a good alternative one might consider.
We, as students, are the minds of the future, and TCU has helped us to build a thought process in whichever field we have chosen. So, now it is our turn to go out there and build a place where hardworking people can succeed and enjoy some of the best attributes America has to offer. Forget about politics for a second, and think about what is best for the whole country and not just for ourselves. Hard times are coming, but I am positive we will find a way to lead and triumph.
Pablo Navarro is a senior economics major from Bogota, Colombia