The college students who make up a large part of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests have a straightforward solution to their jobs grievances: finish their degree. According to a Gallup poll out today, 89 percent of college graduates are either employed full-time or work part-time by choice:
While 64 percent of the U.S workforce is employed full time for an employer, as measured by Gallup from January to September 2011, this percentage ranges from a high of 73 percent among college graduates to a low of 29 percent among those aged 65 and older. An additional 7 percent work full time for themselves and 10 percent work part time and do not want full-time work, with those 65 and older by far the most likely to fit into these two categories.
Roughly 12 percent of college graduates are considered “underemployed,” and around half of that group is jobless. The numbers are even more optimistic for graduate students, with just 4 percent of Americans with postgraduate degrees unemployed.
That’s not to say young college graduates aren’t feeling the impact of the recession more than older college graduates who have job experience. But they’re still in a better position than those who have a high school degree or less (13 percent unemployment), or those who started college and never finished (10 percent unemployment).
The defeatism of the students involved in the “Occupy Wall Street” protests is out of proportion with reality. At a time when much of the country is struggling economically, college students should realize they’re the fortunate ones.