The numbers come from a recent report from McKinsey On Society, an online publishing forum for the consulting firm’s research on pressing social issues. The report says that 48 percent of college graduates took a job that required less than a four-year degree. Four to five times as many graduates are working in the retail and restaurant industries than would prefer to. The report also noted that 15 percent of taxi drivers have a college degree, up drastically from 1 to 2 percent in 1970.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, a recent college graduate, exasperated, said she’d take any job offered. “My ultimate goal right now is just to get a full-time job that has benefits; I don’t care if it’s in my field,” she said.
At a time when student debt has reached more than $1 trillion and Congress struggles to come up with a bipartisan plan to alleviate it, the fear of not being able to afford the bills is tangible for recent college graduates.
The fact that students are struggling to find jobs in their preferred industries or are taking jobs they’re overqualified for isn’t helping the rest of the economy. Recent college graduates are saddled with so much debt that they can’t qualify for a mortgage to buy a new house and almost 6 million graduates were still living at home in 2011.
Kirsten Gibson is an intern for ThinkProgress.