A College Degree – So What?

Posted: Aug 02, 2014 12:01 AM
A College Degree – So What?

According to the latest figures available in 2014, as of 2011, (a bit of a lag when it comes to education) the United States had 21 million students in higher education. Combining this fact with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) announcement about both job creation and the participation pool, it is worth doing some analysis to see whether it is time to break out the Champagne as most liberals are exhorting.

In July the BLS announced the creation of 209,000 new jobs. Let us accept that at face value (very difficult for me) without adjusting for births/deaths. 209,000 new workers toiling in the vineyard every single day. 44,000 of these jobs were taken by 16 to 19 year olds. 159,000 were taken by 55 to 69 year olds. If my math is correct that’s 203,000 total jobs out of the 209,000 reported. That leaves 6,000 jobs, potentially, for our most recent college graduates.

My columnist colleague, Rex Nutting at MarketWatch, is all agog at the increase in the participation rate. The labor force grew in July by 329,000 people according to the BLS. For several months prior, this number was declining. No statistics yet to tell us what makes up the 329,000.

Perhaps it is disgusted long term unemployed deciding to give it one more shot. Or maybe a few seniors coming off the sidelines having run out of money due to ZIRP. It could be all those folks crossing the border to take advantage of our good old American hospitality. You’ll notice, I didn’t mention one group, the recent college graduates.

Using the most simplistic math possible, dividing 21 million students by 5 years of college (I only needed 4) means we just graduated 4 million kids eager and ready to conquer the world.

Instead of 329,000 entering the workforce shouldn’t it have been more like 3.29 million?

I guess, like the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, the graduates emerged from their parent’s basement, saw the 6,000 jobs available for 4 million students, shook their heads and went back into their caves declaring 6 more weeks, months or years of joblessness.