ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – At a time when the US is seeing its worst inflation rates in over 40 years, college graduates are now stepping into the workforce and launching their careers, but do they have concerns about how to maneuver through an economy in this kind of shape?
Every graduate we spoke to after the ceremony felt motivated and excited to head out into the real world ready to start their dream jobs. But they are going to need to figure out how to budget their money while finding jobs that pay enough to keep up with more expensive rents and bills.
Local Economist George Conboy, of Brighton Securities, gives today’s economy a mixed rating as college graduates set out to start their careers. Explaining it can depend on the consumer demand and staffing of each industry to determine salaries and who gets hired.
“On the plus side, people dropping out of the workforce partially due to the pandemic may mean that recent college grads will have their pick of jobs,” Conboy said. “Because it’s sort of a buyer’s market. The challenge comes in as inflation keeps rolling and makes things worse, companies may look to tighten their belts. ”
Data from the Bureau of Labor shows the US unemployment rate has fallen back to pre-pandemic levels, sitting at 3.6%. But with consumer prices up 8.5%, there are key investment tips economists want college graduates to take to get a hold of their debt while saving money.
“You should make payments on everything,” Conboy continued. “You may not be able to afford to pay as much as you like, but even if you’re paying $ 5- $ 10 a month at your student loans it gets you into the habit of tackling debt early. Start building a rainy-day fund, ask your employer about retirement plans available. ”
“It’s tough, you know any budgeting is tough,” Meredith Ramin, a graduate of Nazareth College told us. “And we’re entering adulthood now.”
Grads of Nazareth College showed optimism after walking across the stage but know it’s going to take serious planning to get ahead in saving money while managing new bills and debt.
“I believe inflation has been a part of everyone’s life,” Dereck Atwater, a Musical Theater graduate from Nazareth College, said. “So, it’s something you must consider while negotiating your contract. You have to think about those things and hopefully the people doing your contract think about those things as well. ”
“I’ve heard from a lot of other teachers and the media that with inflation their salaries are getting cuts,” Julia Secor, an Early Childhood Education graduate of Nazareth College added. “Instead of increases when you factor in inflation. And teachers are already not paid enough so it’s really affecting teacher salaries right now. ”
College graduates should see the biggest impacts from inflation as they take on new bills and debts are rent and car payments. As interest rates on loans jump higher than before the average graduate entered college.