Students express concern about post-graduation employment

Dr. Kenneth Heaghney, state fiscal economist and research professor of economics at Georiga State University, discussed how the state’s employment growth is outpacing the nation’s at Capitol Building in Atlanta on January 15th.

“The improvement in Georgia and U.S. labor markets should improve job prospects for new college graduates. In recent years, many graduates have had difficulty finding employment opportunities commensurate with their education,” Dr. Heaghney said.

The economist also said that as a result of stronger job growth, there will be a reduction of mismatches in skills versus jobs.

Other topics by Heaghney included state-wide and national rising housing market stats, updates on the external global economy.

“We are seeing housing come back stronger, both nationally and in Georgia. There was concern with the external global market, and with Europe’s crisis, but it’s stronger than it was a year ago,” Kenneth said during the meeting.

According to Democracy & Freedom Watch’s coverage of The World Bank’s “Global Economic Prospects 2014”, the estimate for 2014 and 2015 in Georgia is 6.3 percent, and 2016 is expected to be 6.5 percent. In 2013, the economic growth was only 2.5 percent.

Coming from a current student’s perspective, junior public relations major Nick Prather said,

“Economically, students will continue to struggle with a system that continues to increase interest rates of student loans. Plus with minimum wage where it is, it’s impossible to make a living while going to school full-time, and trying to work a decent amount of hours.”

Prather also said that there should be actual proof that students will find more jobs once they graduate despite the fierce competition in the struggling economy.

As the president of the Student Government Association (SGA), Andrew G. Whyte is involved with many student affairs. This includes observing how current and recent graduates feel about various issues.

“I’ve gathered that generally unemployment still seems to be high, while employment is still low or what others have called stable,” Whyte said.

The SGA president also went on to explain how he knew students that graduated last semester and still cannot find employment.

Andrew also said that personal points of reference for individuals to use when forming their own judgements about employment and the economy tend to come from the people closest to them.

Economically speaking, Andrew said that he believes that if the state is generally doing well, it is a positive characteristic for Georgia if individuals are making comparisons state-to-state.

In contrast to making state-to-state comparisons, Whyte left off by saying,

“Is it the degree from various universities that are not competitive upon graduation, or is it that students do not have the ability to adequately articulate their stance on why they need to be hired?”

Tyler Lewis, vice president of Budget and Finance in SGA, said that if it is true that Georgia is currently outpacing the U.S. in employment, then universities and schools are teaching students well and setting them up with opportunities to remain in Georgia for future employment.

“I am graduating in May, and from a personal standpoint I would say that I am hopeful about the economy and employment,” Lewis said.

Lewis said that it is always positive when there are increasing numbers, even though things don’t move as fast as everyone would like.