Ryan Maass

By: Ryan Maass

ELON, N.C. – Economic recessions are especially hard for college students. As the market value of an undergraduate degree has severely diminished, more students graduate from a college or university each year, and companies are still struggling to make ends meet themselves, it’s safe to say that the job market for younger applicants has seen better days. However, recent market performance suggests there is a glimmer of hope for the graduating class of 2013.

On April 19, the News and Observer reported the unemployment rate in North Carolina began to dip – falling from 9.4 to 9.2. While on paper these numbers might not seem significant, the economic ramifications for those looking for work are immense. Tenths of a percent in economics mean the difference between business opening or closing, or students getting a job or turned away. Considering the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked North Carolina unemployment at 11.2 percent in January 2010, new data suggests that market forces have made considerable progress in the face of country-wide financial strain.

Unemployment data for each county of North Carolina for March 2013 is available
here: http://www.wral.com/news/state/page/4879060

Alamance County’s neighbor, Orange County has the lowest at 5.6 percent, while mountain counties like Swain County appear to have more severe unemployment at over 16 percent.

Elon students hail from many parts of the country, especially the Northeast. Graduates deciding they wish to stay in the state and begin their careers in North Carolina can look forward to a more business-friendly environment as other states in the country continue to struggle with stagnating unemployment statistics. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows New York and New Jersey having lower employment rates of 8.5 and 9.0 percent respectively, these states have not seen the same dips in their trends that North Carolina has – and are instead remaining more or less constant. Optimistic market observers could expect North Carolina’s unemployment dip to continue if economic conditions continue to develop as they are.

But how much protection does an undergraduate degree offer against unemployment? The obvious answer would be that it would depend on where this said degree came from. How does Elon fare in this competition? In the video below, two experts from Elon’s business community address this issue, providing very optimistic views on what students looking for jobs can expect in the future.

Unemployment in the United States has been a serious problem, and an obstacle for economic recovery. In addition, the added stress contributes negatively to economic outlook for prospective employees: