By NEMS Daily Journal
Unemployment rate views vary in context
I was extensively quoted in last Sunday’s business page article about employment opportunities for recent college graduates. I appreciate being accurately quoted by your reporter, however, the angle of the story was not fully explained to me and thus my comments were not in proper context.
Your story suggested a high unemployment rate among recent college graduates and the difficulty of finding jobs by recent graduates. Had I understood that to be the purpose of the story, I would have pointed out that a 7.7 percent rate in Mississippi is, in fact, not high based on a more global perspective. I recently returned from studying abroad in Spain and visited several other European countries where I witnessed the disparities and challenges faced by significant unemployment rates. Currently, the Greece and Ireland workforces face 23.8 percent and 14.8 percent unemployment rates. The rate of unemployment among the youth in Spain and Portugal sits at 53.2 percent and 37.7 percent respectively.
It is my perspective as a recent college graduate with various summer work experiences that there are good jobs for all who are well prepared to work productively and in the service of others, whether in the private, non-profit or public sectors. The key issue facing recent college graduates is finding and pursuing one’s passion in the work world. I am quite confident in myself and my peers as we identify and pursue meaningful work opportunities.
Despite the recent economic obstacles faced across the globe, we in the U.S. are fortunate. There are work opportunities to be filled and jobs that we ourselves can create through our own skills and creativity. The real challenges in our country that we must focus on are high school and college graduation rates and being well prepared academically and of good character.
Employment rates are a function, in large part, of quality education. I am fortunate to be well prepared.