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Bay State Grads Hard Pressed to Find Jobs and Benefits

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 By Monique Coppola, Public News Service - MA, Contact
June 22, 2009

BOSTON - Recent graduates in the Bay State are finding that a degree from a top college or university does not necessarily mean a good job with benefits. A recent survey of students published by The National Association of Colleges and Employers found that fewer than 20 percent of 2009 graduates who applied for a job actually have one.

With a statewide unemployment rate hovering around 8 percent, it's an especially tough climate in Massachusetts, according to Aaron Green, founder and president of Professional Staffing Group, Boston.

"It's definitely a challenging job market - probably the most challenging one I've seen since getting out of school myself in 1990. For people graduating from college this year, it's definitely a lot more difficult to find opportunities than it was."

Green says the job market has a couple of bright spots: Work in education and the healthcare industry is plentiful. But for those seeking employment in other fields, jobs are scarce. And that means more young people are on their own when it comes to finding health insurance.

State law requires all adults to carry health insurance or face fines. Jon Kingsdale, executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, says those fines can cost 18- to 26-year-olds about the same amount as a health insurance premium.

"Research has shown that most young people have really no idea they can get health coverage if they don't get it through an employer or that the Health Connector has many affordable options for this age group."

Kingsdale adds that subsidized coverage is available for those who are income eligible.

More information about the Massachusetts Health Connector is at www.mahealthconnector.org. The student survey is online at www.naceweb.org.




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