Thursday, November 18, 2010

1 in 5 Workers are Underemployed in America

The Seattle Times has reported the harsh truth about underemployment in the USA. The term "underemployment" has various different meanings. Lets double check with the Dictionary, shall we?

Underemployment (adj.)
  1. Employed only part-time when one needs and desires full-time employment.
  2. Inadequately employed, especially employed at a low-paying job that requires less skill or training than one possesses.
  3. Not fully or adequately used or employed.
Right now 1 out of every 5 workers in the state of Washington is currently underemployed. Many MBA's, JD's, and others with professional education are working to find any job that will help pay the bills. The article in the link also discusses one recent law school graduate who has nearly $150,000 in debt but is working a non legal office job just to help make ends meet. This is the new reality of underemployment in Corporate America. Sad, but true..

-The Poor Paralegal


  1. ...or as the conservatives call it, the "lazy."

  2. What the Fuck!

    That Law School Grad you refer to has nothing on me.

    I owe almost 300 grand.

    I graduated 14 years ago, but my loan started out at 79 thousand.

    So this fellow with 150 thousand in debt will reach and pass 300 thousand in debt a lot sooner than I did. If he waits long enough, he will owe past a half a million. And seriously, that is what things are coming to.

    Unfortunately, this fellow with 150 grand of debt needs a windfall or a home run, and right NOW!

    Just trying to make ends meet and getting on base, or drawing a walk, will only result in puting food on the table and keeping him alive. He will have to Defer the loans, thereby giving the loans an opportunity to grow.

    And grow.

    And GROW!

    Other people will become very wealthy from the growth while the loan holder will get poorer, and deeper into debt.

    In fact, my loan, at one point, increased by 100 thousand over a three year period.

    I did keep accurate records of the loans progress.

  3. I've read somewhere recently that law school applications have increased significantly despite the poor economy. People in the US have been brainwashed that the more degrees you have equate to better paying jobs. This economy is dispelling that theory, yet people are convinced that they have to take on student loans despite the poor job market, plus the fact that the US legal field is imploding.

    Keep the excellent work with your blog.

  4. Im in the same boat. I graduated from a MN law school with 120k in loan debt, and there is no job to be found. Friends of mine who graduated my 1L year are just finding jobs now, or working out in the middle of no where just to cover the bills. After trying to find work for about 3 months, I gave in and started working a crappy warehouse job just to make ends meet (not even considering repaying loans). The funny looks one gets when you tell people you have a law degree, but are working with excons, and high school drop outs, along with the grueling treatment for low pay you get from employers who think that you think you are better than them sent me into serious depression. I gave up, and am back in school getting a Masters. The prospects for that are not very well either, but it will enhance my portfolio, hopefully, enough to find employment after I graduate if the economy ever turns.

    The American dream of 'work hard, go to college, get into a professional school and be able to live a relatively decent life and support a family' is DEAD. At this point, the people that have it made are those who were smart enough to either not got to college, or stop at the Associate Level. Most of us will be working poor and in debt, unable to own a new car or house for the rest of our lives if this continues.

    I returned to school and am getting a graduate degree.

  5. I have it all three degrees, an undergraduate and masters degree in very technical science disciplines, plus a JD. I now recite random latin phrases, while skipping from one temp. job to another. I have also worked in a warehouse job with ex-cons and high school graduates, while wondering which high school they graduated from since a lot were lacking in any knowledge I would have thought necessary to graduate in the first place. I didn't tell them any of my education and just let them "teach" me their perceptions of both the scientific and legal world, all were patently wrong, but since I lied to even get that job I kept my mouth shut. The American dream is dead to me, I don't even want to think about the explosion of my student loan payments. The depression level comes from every angle. Do you get depressed because your income will never allow to pay off your debts? Do you get stressed wondering if you are going to get sucked into credit collectors and random night calls about paying the loan back? Do you get depressed wondering if anybody will ever hire you to even use a small percentage of your education? Do you get depressed, because you forgo putting into retirement to acquire education and now are wondering if you will be able to retire. Do you get depressed, because after three degrees and all they hype you still can't afford health insurance. Or do you get depressed, because all you really want is somebody to give you permanent employment so that at least at a designated rate/hr you can even start to try to figure out how bad your situation is.