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no degree, no job

In my life, we've had roughly five to seven different "recessionary economies," depending on how one counts the downturns, and I remember well the one into which I was graduated and gained my "entry-level experience" in the early nineties.

Once I walked into a retail computer "environment," and inquired about work, and in a brief bit of a conversation a guy my age behind the counter exclaimed in anguish, "It's retail," as if that were the worst kind of work possible and not, as a job hunter could see it, a boon opportunity in lean times, a chance to earn a steady check.

Ten years later, talking about the labor market of the early twenty-first century, 2002 to 2003ish, a family member said simply, "You need a college degree to get any job." And now here's the 2013 version of that statement, one of those articles about how you need a college degree to get a foot in the door (i.e. file clerk). It's worth noting that I'm sure there are millions of exceptions to this, people in the workforce without degrees, and many recent college grads are still starting work for someone who doesn't have the "piece of paper."

And yet the trend, even if not invariably true, is legitimate.

And, of course, it will seem much less apparent the next time we move into a bubble economy where not the only the jobs, but the money itself, appears like low-hanging fruit and even falling from the trees.

This piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer suggests that the current recession is "easing," and yet it also reminds us of how companies find unpaid temporary workers to be an affordable convenience.

What else is new?


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