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GSU Economist: Students will continue to struggle finding a job

During his analysis on education Wednesday, Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Center at the J. Mack College of Business said that less and less Georgia graduates are contributing to the labor force.

The Economic Forecasting Center said Atlanta will see an increase in the annual employment rate go up 2.4 percent in 2015 and that the city will add 46,300 new jobs, down 8,300 since last year, while the economy recovers.

Speaking at the University Center, where leading economists and industry leaders gathered in lieu of this year’s economic forecast, Dhawan noted that the amount of young people in Georgia with jobs has been decreasing.

“The labor force participation rate is declining,” he said. “Especially for 16-24-year-olds.”

He added that students in their late 20s and 30s are not doing much better, neither increasing nor decreasing in employment rates.

Out of the 2.7 million employed in Atlanta about 8.2 percent are unemployed, a rate slightly higher than the 7.5 national average, according to data from the Department of Labor.

Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan called the recession a “jobless recovery” and said students are finding ways around unemployment by lengthening their education, settling for their second or third job opportunity and moving back in with their parents.

“Start thinking early and be prepared,” senior Maferima Ouattara advised. “Do a Master’s while you look for a job.”

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She also encouraged students to start networking and using internship, study abroad and graduate school opportunities to get hired.

But according to Curtin, it is unknown how long students will have to wait.

“A huge number of young people have been out of the job market for a long time,” he said. “It’s going to take a while.”