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The labor force participation rate hits all time lows affecting college grads

Anthony Harris recent college grad looking for employment in a difficult market
Anthony Harris recent college grad looking for employment in a difficult marketDH

On Sunday April 6, 2014 I had the pleasure of interviewing a recent college graduate and discussing the current economy and job market.

“My father talks about the good old days when a President named Ronald Reagan presided over what my father calls the ‘Reagan Recovery’”, says Anthony Harris a recent entrant into the job market. Harris went on… “One can only pray for a job market created by that type of economic recovery in today’s world, where it appears that politicians will lie about everything and ignore the masses after getting elected.” and “many of my peers are occupying parks and looking for handouts, partly because of the difficulty in obtaining gainful employment.”

Harris from Long Beach, New York who went back to school to earn a BS in Criminal Justice has been confronted with a lack luster job market where many of his contemporaries are having a tough time finding employment. “The news says that the unemployment rate is declining but I don’t see it” said Harris.

Today’s employment numbers are a mixed bag. While administration proponents tout the drop in unemployment rates to 6.7%, the underlying reality of a labor force participation rate at lows not seen for more than 30 years tells the real story.

In a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the current the labor force participation rate is steady at 63.2%, a number not seen since the economic malaise under the administration of Jimmy Carter.

In an interview on Sunday April 6, 2014 Anthony Harris a young man looking to do his part to make a dent in the labor force participation rate, said he would be willing to start at an entry level position where he could prove his value to a company, but that there are so many people applying for the same position its hard if not impossible to stand out from the crowd where companies want resumes emailed to them.

Harris spoke about hearing his father talk about “in person interviews where you can sell yourself” but “unfortunately the reality in the marketplace today is that getting an interview is difficult.”

Relatively young, Harris is 32 years old and has wealth of experience working as a real estate appraiser and a legal assistant, all while attending school. Recently Harris is freelancing and taking odd jobs to make ends meet, while taking civil service exams, and sending out resumes every day. He is also exploring entrepreneurial options like starting his own business.

A look at his resume brings a smile to the readers face as it starts with an old school headline:

I Am A True Professional Who Worked My Way Through College. I Will Show Up Early,

Work Late and Deliver More Than is Expected.

Harris has resorted to posting catchy Craigslist Ads and emailing executives at major companies, but to date his efforts have not resulted in “a shot” as he calls it. His Craigslist Ad is catchy and contains the lines “If your employees are more interested in what they're having for lunch, or how many vacation days they have accumulated, your business is less productive than it should be.”, and “Clean house - Get Rid of the Dead Wood - and Bring in a Young Professional Who Understands the Old School Mentality of Working Hard and the New World Principal of Working Smart.”

Harris closed the interview by saying “I’m just looking for a shot”, anyone interested can find his Resume here -or his Craigslist Ad here.

If you are a recent grad in the same situation contact the author. If you are an employer interested in giving the subject of my article "a shot", please contact me.