Job openings for new grads collapsed amid pandemic, Glassdoor data shows

Justine Chavez, 23, is not looking forward to graduation — because that means trying to find a job with a bachelor’s degree and no experience amid a pandemic and resulting recession.

“I have applied to entry level jobs, and have updated my resume showing my degree, and I’m having trouble getting call backs,” Chavez told Yahoo Money. “I’m kind of in a tough spot.” 

She isn’t alone: According to a report by Glassdoor, entry level job openings dropped a whopping 68% in May, compared to the same time last year.

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The platform analyzed the number of open jobs on the site containing the words “entry level” or “new grad” in the job title between May 1 and May 31 to determine the amount.

“With tens of millions of people newly unemployed, the class of 2020 has stepped into one of the worst job markets in history,” Glassdoor Senior Research Analyst Amanda Stansell wrote.

A student puts his mask back on after taking family photos during the Kenneth High School Class of 2020 Commencement Exercises at Cranmore Mountain in North Conway, New Hampshire on June 13, 2020. (Photo: JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)
A student puts his mask back on after taking family photos during the Kenneth High School Class of 2020 Commencement Exercises at Cranmore Mountain in North Conway, New Hampshire on June 13, 2020. (Photo: JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Overqualified, and underpaid?

Even in situations where these fresh grads secure jobs, some of them are finding those offers are being rescinded. 

And the job market has pushed some to turn to jobs they’re likely to be overqualified for.

“New college grads are also applying to some lower-paying jobs that have shown resilience during the COVID-19 crisis and often allow remote work options,” the Glassdoor report stated. “Administrative assistant and sales representative were two of the jobs in the top 10 roles new grads were applying to in May.”

Jobs disappeared amid the pandemic. (David Foster/Yahoo Finance)
Jobs disappeared amid the pandemic. (David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

And the effects of the recession could be more than just underemployment in the near term.

Previous research has found that graduating into a recession could set workers back in terms of earnings for as long as a decade when compared to graduates entering a normal market.

A paper by Northwestern University Professors Hannes Schwandt and Till M. von Wachter found that when comparing the periods between 1976 to 2015, workers who entered the labor market during periods of high unemployment — such as during a recession — lag behind on wages as much as 60% (if there is a three-point rise in unemployment). 

Looking at those graduates’ total earnings in the first 10 years in the labor market, they lag behind income earned by workers entering normal times by 6%.

A graduate poses in Washington Square Park during the coronavirus pandemic on May 24, 2020 in New York City. (PHOTO: Noam Galai/Getty Images)
A graduate poses in Washington Square Park during the coronavirus pandemic on May 24, 2020 in New York City. (PHOTO: Noam Galai/Getty Images)

For Chavez, who had moved back home to California after finishing her degree at the University of North Texas, even finding temporary work is a challenge.

She said had applied for six to 10 temporary entry-level jobs, such as a receptionist, until she could build up her experience before entering her dream job as a sports reporter for the NFL Network.

She hasn’t heard back from any employers.


Aarthi Swaminathan is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. 

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