Nice work - if you can get it

Updated: 2013-07-03 10:02

By He Na (China Daily)

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The global economy has been hit by a slowdown in the United States and the sovereign debt problems affecting many countries in the European Union.This has delivered a massive blow to new graduates.

As access to college education becomes easier, a larger number of graduates are leaving college with high expectations, but lower skill levels. This is a global phenomenon.

United States

A college education no longer guarantees a high salary and difficulty in obtaining work is now a long-term problem for many US citizens. The unemployment rate for under-25s has soared to 16 percent, more than twice the national average, according to the United States Department of Labor.

Faced with grim employment prospects several years ago, many college graduates chose to continue their education and delay the search for employment in the hope the situation would have changed by the time they finished their studies. That hope has failed to materialize and current conditions are no better than before.

The average salary of graduates in the US has fallen by 8.5 percent since 2000, according to a survey conducted by the US Economic Policy Institute.


An economic turnaround has greatly improved Russia's employment market. Data from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service show the unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in the first quarter of this year, far lower than three years ago when it was 8.2 percent. However, college graduates are still having difficulty finding work.

Russian employment experts attribute this to a disconnection between the education system and market demand and an increase in the number of graduates.

By the end of April, people under the age of 25 accounted for 23.3 percent of the country's unemployed population.


In Japan, graduate employment is a comprehensive project that helps graduates find work. The roles of the students, schools, businesses and employment centers are clearly defined, and employment counselors train students in interview skills, meaning the students are usually well prepared. Colleges recommend students to prospective employers and businesses have pledged to recruit more graduates. This has ensured that graduate employment rates are high.