For fashion school graduate Phoebe St. Leger, her dream of landing a job at a design brand is on hold for now. Like many other people in 2020 graduates, the pandemic is clouding her career ambitions.
The coronavirus caused her class’s end-of-year fashion show to be canceled, preventing the ability to show her fabric collection to people in the industry, some of whom might have hired her, if they liked her work.
Instead, 22-year-old St. Leger returned to his family’s home in Winchester, southern England, and continued to do his homework online. He applied for about 40 jobs and only received rejections.
“All the jobs sold out, everywhere,” he said. Do you know that graduates of previous years have been fired or suspended and she’s ready to get a job at a bar. “It’s hard to be hopeful when you don’t see anyone doing well right now.”
Around the world, young people armed with their recent degrees, diplomas and other professional qualifications are dealing with the difficulties of entering the labor market, as the pandemic pushes the global economy into recession. Covid-19 has undermined hopes of landing first jobs – important for the start of their careers – as employers have cut back on graduate hiring plans and even pulled job offers.
The latest US job market numbers, released last Friday, underscored the difficulty of the situation: 1.8 million jobs were added in July, a sharp slowdown in job growth from the previous month. This means that the world’s largest economy has recovered just 42% of the jobs lost to the coronavirus.
Glassdoor, a website for job searches in the United States, says the number of jobs in the “entry-level” or “recent graduate” category was down 68% in May from a year earlier. In Great Britain, companies plan to cut student hires by 23% this year, according to a survey of 179 companies carried out by the Institute of Student Employers.
The wave of delayed hires is going to impact the entire economy, says Brian Kropp, head of HR research at Gartner consultancy.
Many graduates will have student loan debt, and they won’t be able to start paying them before they find a job, he said.
“If you can’t get a basic position today, that means you can’t move out of your parents’ house, you don’t develop real work experience, you can buy your house much later, you get married much later.”
22-year-old Michael Welch has been tirelessly exploring LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed, looking for connections and jobs, after earning an engineering degree from the University of Connecticut. She had planned to start her job search only after graduation.
“That plan changed because I expected to enter a good job market,” he said. “Suddenly I was in one of the worst job markets in recent history.”
Welch, who returned to his parents’ house, worries about getting interviews online and starting a remote job.
“Telecommuting is great for someone who doesn’t already have a job and has to travel,” he said. But “for someone entering the job market it is a disturbing prospect. It is difficult to learn technical skills when the framework is remote work ”.
Noah Isaak, a 2019 graduate and recently certified teacher, has been applying for jobs in the Chicago public school system and has done a few interviews but they led nowhere. Most of the people you know from your program are having problems, too.
You are now considering applying for minimum wage jobs at Target, Costco, coffee shops, and Amazon.
“I’m stressed out,” said 23-year-old Isaakm. “Nothing is going as expected. It is a consolation that it is not a personal failure and the same thing happens to others. But it’s hard not to know. ”
A major long-term effect for young graduates who take longer to find good jobs is lower pay over the course of their careers, experts say.
Someone who takes a year or more to find their first job lags behind their peers when it comes to promotions and also competes with younger people who enter the job market later.
The problem, like the pandemic, is global.
Graduate job vacancies are below previous year’s levels in 10 countriesaccording to Adzuna, a job search engine. Great Britain, India and the Netherlands have seen the biggest declines, as available positions are below half from last year, but other countries like Austria, Australia, Brazil and France are also seeing double-digit percentage declines. .
Graduate jobs are expected to shrink in 21 countries, with most likely not being able to recover next year, according to an independent report by Britain’s Institute of Student Employers.
Maria Jose Casco, recently a doctor, have not found a job after graduating in Ecuador last April. Casco, 24, said he has been looking for health-related jobs, as well as work in other industries.
Although the pandemic means more need for health services, he realized that employers they are not hiring for full time jobs.
“They are looking for a temporary staff that they can fire easily,” Casco said. She and her husband are living off savings and their salary of $ 480. Like others, they are considering emigration. “Because there is no future, many of my colleagues are thinking about the possibility of leaving Ecuador.”
The pandemic is mounting problems for young people in countries haunted by constant economic instability.
Two years after graduating from Midlands State University in Zimbabwe, Emmanuel Reyai, 24, is no closer to his goal of landing a job related to his degree in local governance. Their search is hampered by both the economic collapse of the African country and the coronavirus outbreak.
“I have applied more than 40 times … Nothing”, he said, showing a plastic folder containing his academic certificates.
More than two-thirds of Zimbabwe’s population, including university graduates, survive from informal jobs such as street vending. Reyai started by reselling cooking gas in a shack in Harare, the slum where he lives, but the local council demolished it after the outbreak. Now she makes and sells peanut butter throughout the city.
“There is no hope of getting a job,” Reyai said. “I did everything I could to apply for jobs, but the situation is not improving at all. The truth is that it is getting worse ”.
In Indonesia, Clara Karina, 25, graduated in January with an accounting degree from a prestigious business and finance school in Jakarta.
She wanted to work as a civil servant but applied to jobs in private companies, since the government froze the hiring. Only three of the 20 companies responded to your application. Two rejected it and a third application is in progress.
“Companies are not hiring new employees, they are reducing the number of employees now,” Karina said. “I have to be more patient.”
For some, there is a happy ending.
By Kelvin Chan. AP Agency