Sunday, April 1, 2012

Jobs good? Jobs bad? Whose news is true?

Yes, it's April Fools Day again. And today's foolishness is brought to you by the competing truth squads at the Philadelphia Inquirer and, who both decided that today would be a great time to take a look at the current job market for 20-somethings.

Trouble is, they both came away with polar-opposite reports.

Here's the uplifting take that offers:

Hiring is back in a big way on many college campuses, one of several signs a recovery in the U.S. jobs market is gaining traction. After four years during which many students graduated to find no job and had only their loans to show for their studies, most college campuses are teeming with companies eager to hire.

Sounds pretty good, eh? But then we have the front-page series that kicked off today in the Inquirer. Here's their take:

...[F}or young people these days, the American Dream is imperiled.

A forever-altered economy, combined with a seemingly unending recession, is impeding the path to adulthood and prosperity for the "millennial generation" - about 80 million people ages 18 to 34.

In Philadelphia, as elsewhere, young adults struggle with the highest unemployment rates of any age group and with unprecedented levels of college debt.

High school graduates and dropouts face lives of diminishing prospects; college graduates clutch somewhat sturdier umbrellas against the storm.

Although college has never been more vital to success, degrees aren't worth what they were a generation ago: There are 80,000 bartenders in America with B.A.s.

The reality is almost certainly somewhere between MSNBC's rosy forecast and the Inquirer's bleak-and-bleaker outlook. Read 'em both and see if you can figure out which one is closer to the way things are today.

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