The FINANCIAL — With most college graduations over and high school graduations in progress, the impending entry into the “real world” is on the minds of many young adults, and often, the first thought is finding a job.
But Americans overwhelmingly believe that won't be easy for this year's graduates.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 89% of American Adults say it will be at least somewhat difficult for recent graduates to find a job in the current economy. That includes 56% who say it will be Very Difficult. Just eight percent (8%) think it won't be very or at all difficult for the new grads to find work.
Those with someone in the family graduating high school or college this year are even more pessimistic: 95% think it will be somewhat difficult for them to find jobs, including a whopping 75% who say it will be Very Difficult.
Still, when it comes to finding a job, 90% of all adults feel that a college degree is at least somewhat important, with 55% who view it as Very Important. Again, only eight percent (8%) rate a college degree as not very or not at all important to finding a job. Adults with a new graduate in the family respond almost identically.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on May 28-29, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
Twenty-three percent (23%) of Americans say someone in their family is graduating high school or college this year.
Interestingly, adults under 30, who are most likely to be recent high school or college graduates, are more optimistic about the current job market than their elders.
Women place more value on the importance of a college degree than men but also believe more strongly that this year's graduates will have a difficult time finding a job.
Whites and adults of other races believe a bit more strongly than blacks that this is a tough time for new graduates to find a job.
In March 2010, 60% of adults said every American should attend college, and 66% said a college degree is still a good investment. But 81% felt individuals learn more practical skills through life experience and work rather than through college.
Voters overwhelmingly believe that taxpayers are not getting a good return on what they spend on public education, and just one-in-three voters think spending more will make a difference.
Most adults think how much money an individual is paid should depend more on what they get done on the job rather than their educational background or how long they’ve worked for a company. Only three percent (3%) say individuals who go to Ivy League schools are better workers than those who go to other schools.
The Rasmussen Employment Index, which measures workers’ perceptions of the labor market each month, increased in April and May, with confidence back to its level at the beginning of the year. Still, 19% of working Americans report that their firms are hiring, while 23% say their firms are laying workers off. It has been nearly three years since the number reporting that their firms are hiring has topped the number reporting layoffs.
Even as the government releases a new report showing surprisingly little job creation in May and an increase in the unemployment rate, 31% of Americans think unemployment will be higher a year from today, the most pessimistic attitude toward the jobs market since last June.