Student loan debt prevents America’s youth from ever getting married

woman screamingHow’re things going? Having a great day? Maaaaybe you shouldn’t read this post then.

I’m basically going to defer to the overwhelmingly depressing stats in the New York Times of Gloom for this one.

Student loan debt outpaced credit card debt for the first time last year and is likely to top a trillion dollars this year as more students go to college and a growing share borrow money to do so. Continue reading

Sucks being unemployed right now

unemployed sign

“Generally speaking, all the data seem to suggest that if you already have a job, the labor market probably doesn’t seem so bad, but if you’re looking for a job, there’s been almost no job market improvement over the last few years,” Michael Feroli of JPMorgan Chase wrote in a note to clients. [NYT]

Why that college degree collecting dust in your parent’s attic is worth even less now

stressed student

All those hours of studying yourself into an oblivion instead of having friends was totally worth it!

The unemployment rate for college graduates may not have risen as much as for less educated workers, but it’s still increased significantly — more than doubling, to 4.8 percent, over the last three years. [NYT]

In this economy, “education is basically worthless”*

stack of books

Books have never seemed so useless. (I was a comparative literature major, natch).

In what should be one of the most depressing articles of joblessness to date (a far cry from last year’s perky portrayal of blond twins performing on subways while pursuing the American Dream in New York), the NYT profiles a woman known as a “99er”: a poor soul who has exhausted the maximum 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits without any luck in finding a new job. And before Republicans Ben Stein anyone starts claiming that it’s her own lazy fault, take note: almost 1.4 million people were out of work for 99 weeks or more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I really hope the Times at least took her out to dinner during the interviews, because, damn, her life seems to be one week short of turning tricks on the street. Let’s recap: Continue reading

New York Times to College Grads: Your Future Is Bleak


These fools are only throwing their caps because they haven't read the newspaper yet.

For those of you looking forward to celebrating your new shiny diploma, the New York Times suggests you may want to try selling it for food instead. Continue reading

Is the recession causing you to cling to your partner?

money marriage

All a marriage needs is flying wads of cash.

Money is an awkward thing in relationships, which is why it’s hard to believe anybody’s dating anybody in this economy. In fact, however, the opposite is true. The NYT reports that the recession has resulted in tighter bonds with your loved one (often whether you like it or not).

A spouse is more likely to depend on health care from a spouse, or on in-laws to help finance a mortgage or to assist with child care. And the ones who are hanging tight are retrenching and redeveloping an appreciation for time spent together.

All the more reason to listen to your elders and get married for the financial benefits! Continue reading

Congratulations, long-term unemployed, you are the new poor!

unemployed sign

Who can even afford cardboard and permanent markers anymore?

For anybody hoping to enjoy their weekend, the NYT instead ran some sobering statistics about what the jobless are facing: formerly middle class, the “new poor” are now relying on food stamps with years of unemployment behind them and no future prospects in sight.

The reasons for this are after the jump (hint: now is a good time to reach for that second beer). Continue reading

Dow dropping below 10,000 wreaks psychological havoc

stock market bull

This stock market bull doesn't look so scary anymore, does it? (Symbolically anyway...)

The NYT reports that the dow’s fall to 9,908.39 — its lowest level in three months — has delivered a “psychological setback as investors braced for more market volatility.”

The fall of the “closely watched barometer of the economy’s health” was attributed to fears over Europe’s debt crisis. And now that the holy number of 10K has been disrupted, shit is expected to fly. Continue reading

The number of college students taking out loans is highest in nine years

woman screaming

This women has just seen her student loan bill.

According to an annual nationwide survey released today, about two-thirds of incoming students said they had “some” or “major” concern about their ability to pay for their education.

The percentage of those with “some” concern — 55.4 — was at its highest level since 1971. The number of students taking out loans was at its highest in nine years, at 53.3 percent. The number whose fathers were unemployed — 4.5 percent — was the highest in the history of the survey. The number of students whose mothers were unemployed was higher — 7.9 percent — and at its highest since 1979.

“What all this points to is that they are going to be graduating with a larger debt burden than students in the past,” Mr. Pryor told the NYT. More fun stats below! Continue reading

Thanks to rising unemployment, Obama’s numbers aren’t looking too good

Something tells us that face won't look so smug in 2010.

The NYT reports that two new polls showed that President Obama’s approval rating had dipped below 50 percent for the first time.

Polls by Gallup and Quinnipiac University at the end of last week showed that Mr. Obama’s job approval rating had dropped below 50 percent, though not by much: it was 49 percent in the Gallup poll and 48 percent in the Quinnipiac poll.

Mr. Obama’s poll numbers reflect an array of challenges that have combined to create a sour climate for him. The unemployment rate has jumped above 10 percent and shows no sign of declining. At this point, even if Mr. Obama cannot be blamed for causing the economic decline, Americans seem increasingly impatient with him to fix it.

In fact, many of his biggest supporters are now writing scathing editorials against him. Arianna Huffington raises the question: will unemployment be Barack Obama’s Katrina?

Continue reading

Unemployment rate hits 10.2%, highest in 26 years

woman screaming

Yes, the statistics are that scary.

What a great headline to wake up to. More from the NYT :

The United States economy shed 190,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate reached a 26-year high of 10.2 percent, up from 9.8 percent in September, the Department of Labor said Friday in its monthly economic appraisal. […] Since the beginning of the recession in 2007, the number of unemployed Americans has increased by 8.2 million people, and the unemployment rate has risen by 5.3 percentage points.

But all is not lost. Some of us are underemployed: making some moolah with a part-time gig while salaried jobs are nowhere in sight.

The number of temporary workers grew by 34,000 — a significant gain that could indicate employers are beginning to expand their businesses again. […] The underemployment rate, which includes part-time workers, the jobless and those who have given up on searching, was 17.5 percent in October — the highest level since at least 1994.

At least these stats will help convince your parents you’re not a failure. It’s not you. It’s the economy.

Paul Krugman: recent grads who are unemployed will suffer permanent career damage


Hey Paul, so you need an assistant?

The NYT Nobel-prize-winning columnist isn’t happy with the government right now. He believes Obama needs to do more to foster job creation. He praises the stimulus plan but says it’s too little of a good thing.

Suppose that the economy were to keep growing at 3.5 percent. If that happened, unemployment would eventually start falling — but very, very slowly. The experience of the Clinton era, when the economy grew at an average rate of 3.7 percent for eight years (did you know that?) suggests that at current growth rates we’d be lucky to see the unemployment rate fall by half a percentage point per year, meaning that it would take a decade to return to something like full employment.

But wait, it gets worse. Turns out recent grads caught in bad timing will suffer permanent consequences in their careers.

But anyone who really cared about the prospects of young Americans would be pushing for much more job creation, since the burden of high unemployment falls disproportionately on young workers — and those who enter the work force in years of high unemployment suffer permanent career damage, never catching up with those who graduated in better times.

That sound you hear is the crackling of my diploma burning.