Tough Job Market Giving College Grads Bleak Outlook

April 27, 2011 ( - A vast majority (71%) of recent college graduates would have done something differently while in college to better prepare for the job market, according to a survey from Adecco Staffing US.

A press release said “Generation R(ecession)” graduates specifically indicated they wish they had started their job search earlier (26%), spent more time networking (29%), and/or applied for more jobs (26%) prior to graduation. Though many did eventually find full-time employment during the downturn, the survey results showed it was frequently not in positions that require a college degree; almost half (43%) of these Generation R graduates are currently working at a job that does not require a four-year degree.  

Perhaps this rough start is giving college graduates a bleak outlook for their future. Only 19% of Generation R graduates believe Social Security will still exist by the time they retire. Less than half (46%) believe their personal savings plans will be sufficient to fund their retirement. Additionally, 26% of Generation R graduates don’t believe they’ll be able to retire until they are 70 years old or older.  

Adecco said the class of 2010, which presumably had the opportunity to witness and learn from the mistakes of previous graduating classes, seems to have understood the benefits of an aggressive and wide job search better than any other class, particularly 2008 graduates. On average, 2010 graduates have applied to 14.5 jobs since their graduation, while 2008 graduates have only applied to 10.8 jobs since graduation. It took 2010 graduates only 3.97 months to find a full-time job after graduation, compared to 2008 graduates who searched for 9.4 months before landing a position.  

Nineteen percent of all Generation R undergraduates turned to temporary jobs within six months of graduation. While the classes of 2010 and 2008 approached their job search differently, both classes equally valued the opportunities temporary work had to offer; within six months of graduation 26% of 2010 graduates and 25% of 2008 graduates turned to temporary work for employment.  

One-third (33%) of all Generation R grads – from the classes of 2006-2010 collectively – currently live at home with their parents. One-fifth (17%) of these recent graduates are financially dependent on their parents.