Meghan O’Halloran was one of those who had her career derailed by the timing of her graduation.
She left Cornell University with a degree in architecture and six summers of internships at top firms in New York, Milan and London.
“I thought getting a job would be a snap,” she said.
But after graduating in December 2008, just as job losses in the economy were reaching a high point, she was confronted with a very cold reception into the labor force.
She followed her boyfriend to China for a year, and found architecture work plentiful in the building boom there. But when she returned home at the end of 2009, not much had improved, and no one was hiring.
“I’ve applied for temporary work,” she said. “The answer is always the same, ‘We wish we could hire you.'”
She’s decided to leave behind her hopes for a career as an architect and has started her own business making custom fabric, carpets and furniture.
Money: The Great Recession’s lost generation
The kids mentioned in this article seem relatively lucky. They have jobs, or businesses. What’s only hinted at in the article is trickle down unemployment – as college graduates settle for jobs for which no college degree is required, it makes life more difficult for those without degrees.
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