The class of 2020 got screwed. Thanks to pandemic lockdowns, graduating students lost much of their last semester of college, went without graduation ceremonies and are now forced to face adulthood in a time of unprecedented financial uncertainty and sky-high unemployment rates.
While conditions obviously aren’t ideal for job hunting, even grads who had secured positions well before graduating are finding themselves jobless as companies rescind employment offers amid the pandemic. Along with months of layoffs that have left millions unemployed, many companies are also eliminating new roles and retracting pre-COVID job offers, pulling the rug out from under many college grads who thought they had their post-graduation plans squared away months ago.
A July report from educational charity the Sutton Trust found that the job market for college grads has been severely affected by the pandemic, with many job offers postponed or scrapped altogether.
“At that point, 18 percent of work experience placements were cancelled or postponed, 15 percent had reduced access to the university careers service and 7 percent had interviews cancelled,” Dr. Rebecca Montacute, the Sutton Trust’s research and policy manager, told Vice. “Four percent actually had job offers withdrawn. So, that is definitely something — albeit in quite small proportions at that point — we have been seeing, and it is a big concern to us.”
While the class of 2020 may have graduated into one of the worst job markets in history, the fact that they graduated at all might be an advantage. According to Forbes, the Bureau of Labor’s most recent jobs report found that pandemic unemployment rates are lower for those with a college degree.
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