Friday, October 23, 2009

Grads, you're not victims

In this economy, there are fewer jobs to take. With the national unemployment rate at 9.7 percent, and nearly half of those who are unemployed having been out of work for more than six months, college graduates are entering a work force that isn’t all that welcoming. In fact, at times, it can be outright hostile.

Because of this, economists say, many of the unemployed will eventually stop looking for work. And, sadly, that includes more and more young people, ages 21 to 35, the very group that one would assume would be the most resilient to hard times because they can take more risks and often have fewer responsibilities.

I have to ask the economists: How do you give up and stop looking for work? Do you also stop buying food, putting gas in your car, paying your electrical bill and providing shelter for your family? Even in a bad economy, or especially in a bad economy, there is no excuse for giving up.

Newly minted college graduates probably don’t want to hear this sort of thing. But it would serve them well. After all, things won’t always go their way. And, when they stumble, it’s up to them to get back on their feet.

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— Ruben Navarrette writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune. E-mail him at
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