Sandra Fluke: The job market for graduates is getting better, you know

Via the Washington Free Beacon, this is enjoyable if only for the futility of the CNN host in trying to convince Fluke that the plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” only to be assured — repeatedly — that she’s talked to college grads from across the country. This is what they’re telling her, in casual conversation. So, you know, you can take it to the bank.


Is it true that the job market for grads is improving? Let me put it this way: If a team trailing 42-0 kicks a field goal late in the fourth quarter, are their chances of winning improving? If yes, then yeah, the market’s improving:

Though the labor market is recovering slowly, graduates this spring have only slightly better chances of landing jobs than grads did in the depths of the recession, experts say…

“The kids graduating in 2012 are a little better off than their older brothers and sisters who graduated in 2010 or 2011, but it’s still very difficult to find a job,” Shierholz said. “The overall labor market is weak, and young workers are getting slammed.”

Moreover, some economists believe students face an even bleaker job market than the numbers suggest — among the worst in decades.

How bad? Bad:

Unemployment and underemployment rates of young graduates have only modestly improved since their peak in 2010.

For young high school graduates, the unemployment rate was 32.7 percent in 2010 and 31.1 percent over the last year (April 2011–March 2012), while the underemployment rate was 55.9 percent in 2010 and 54.0 percent over the last year.

For young college graduates, the unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in 2010 and 9.4 percent over the last year, while the underemployment rate was 19.8 percent in 2010 and 19.1 percent over the last year.

Among all workers under age 25, unemployment stood at 16.4 percent in March, fully twice the national average. And according to an AP study conducted a few months ago, 53.6 percent — no typo — of people under 25 with bachelor’s degrees were either unemployed or underemployed last year, an 11-year high. Watching this clip actually gives me new respect for that analysis from Carville’s firm urging Obama to stop, stop, stop talking about improvements in the economy when no one out there is feeling it. If she had stuck to the standard “Republicans don’t care about [important Democratic constituency]” argument, she could have skated. As it is, despite Fluke’s newfound status as a liberal truth-to-power martyr/voice of a generation, the CNN anchor’s skepticism is palpable. When you’ve got official progressive Absolute Moral Authority going for you, you’ve got to inch awfully far out on the limb policy-wise to earn a raised eyebrow from the media.


The reason she was on, incidentally, is because she just unveiled her presidential endorsement on CNN’s website. I’m not going to spoil the surprise. See if you can guess.

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