GREENSBORO, N.C. — The graduating class of 2020 is entering the job force and they're not finding many opportunities out there. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the national unemployment rate is at 13.3%. The numbers announced in June follow the May report of 21 million people who are unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is also predicted 4 million new graduates are entering the worst job market since the Great Depression. Keep in mind, prior to the pandemic, the graduating class was set to enter the strongest job market in 50 years. But by April, the class was graduating into a grim economy.
That's not the news you want to hear as you're starting your career or looking for your first job.
Money expert Ja'Net Adams offered three tips to get graduates through the turbulent job market.
"The year is looking very 2008-ish for college students and college graduates," said Adams who wrote the book, The Money Attractor: Everyone's Guide to Winning With Money So They Can Live Their Dreams.
"This time it is a global pandemic and not a global financial crisis, but the result is the same. A recession is causing havoc in the lives of students across the country," said Adams.
Adams shared three ways current college students and recent graduates can improve their financial situation.
"There are a lot of college graduates who had job offers taken away because of the crisis. These students are now facing student loan debt with no money coming in. This is not the time to feel bad for yourself. It is time to renew your search," said Adams. "That company that took your job away is not the only company in the world. Update your resume and start reaching out to people in your network to find new opportunities."
Adams reminds recent graduates about the time remaining until they have to start repaying your student loans.
"You have six months before you have to start paying student loans back so now is the time to be on top of your job search and get your foot in the door to a new career," said Adams.
"For the current college students that have a parent or guardian in your household that has lost a job or income, there are steps you need to take with your college. Your financial situation has changed and you may be able to get more free money to go to college. Reach out to your financial aid department at the college you attend or will be attending and have them review your new numbers. This could result in thousands of dollars in financial aid," said Adams.
"In response to the pandemic, the Department of Education has given billions of dollars to colleges around the country. The money was given to colleges so that they could provide emergency grants to students who need them. These grants could be in the hundreds or a couple of thousand dollars, but it is up to you to reach out to your college to see if you qualify."
Adams says there are some options for recent graduates and those who are graduating next year, but you need to grab hold of the opportunity.
"Whether you are a recent college graduate or a current graduate now is not the time to just let life happen to you. Take control of your future and take advantage of all of your options," said Adams.