Nearly Half Of New College Grads Underemployed

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-College graduates in the class of 2013 appear to be in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A new survey from global management firm Accenture finds that 41 percent of U.S. workers who graduated from college within the last two years are underemployed. Many are working jobs that have nothing to do with what they went to school for, such as waiting tables or bartending.

The poll also finds that just 16 percent of college students who will graduate this year have actually landed a job so far. About one in three surveyed said they would move back in with their parents while looking for work. A similar study conducted last year found that slightly more than half of all college graduates under the age of 25 were either jobless or underemployed.

Huntsville resident Tara Ferguson recently obtained her bachelor’s degree in earth system science from UA-Huntsville. She said six months of searching has proved fruitless so far, and is worried about paying back $50,000 worth of student loans.

“I can’t find anything in my field, I can’t find anything at all really,” said Ferguson, who has sent out hundreds of resumes and phone calls. “I just feel like I wasted all that time…I’ve tried to get a job doing whatever. I’ve tried to get a front desk job, I can’t find any work…I was told by one of my instructors that we were basically guaranteed jobs with this discipline.”

Analysts said the new graduates are hitting a job market already flooded by jobless and underemployed candidates from the classes of 2011 and 2012, making prospects increasingly tough.

The new report also shows that nearly one in three college graduates who did find work are making $25,000 or less per year, insufficient for those who took out large loans. Half of those surveyed graduated this year, with the rest finishing school in the prior two years.

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