Seven years ago, Emmanuel Mendez, a junior at Syracuse University, and his family returned to the United States from the Dominican Republic in search of more work opportunities.
Mendez’ mom, a nurse, found work almost immediately. His father, a gynecologist, went through a two-year validation process to be certified in the United States and took another year after that to find a job.
Ever since, however, Mendez’ family has been spared from much of the financial turmoil that has afflicted so many since before the official start of the recession in 2007 and into today.
Unemployment numbers for the first week in October hovered at levels similar to weeks past, leaving thousands to cope with a still bleak economic climate, while leaving little indication the economy will heal itself before college students begin embarking on careers of their own.
Approximately 404,000 unemployment applications were submitted for the week ending on Oct. 8, bringing the nation’s four week average to 408,000, according to an Associated Press article published in USA TODAY Thursday. The slight decrease in unemployment claims during the first week of October, however, does not signify an improving economy.
Unemployment claims must consistently grace below the 375,000 mark to indicate “sustainable job growth,” according to the article. In September, 103,000 jobs were added to the economy, though the additional jobs did little to budge the unemployment rate, which has stood stubbornly at 9.1 percent for the past three months.
Despite the less-than hospitable job outlook, Susie Flores, a senior public health major at SU, said the recession hasn’t affected her family and doesn’t believe a poor economy will hinder her job-finding efforts.
Flores said the public health sector, specifically, will likely always be in demand of healthcare providers, though job stability was not a factor that contributed to her decision to study health, she said.
“People are always going to be sick, unfortunately, so it’s just something that people will always need,” she said.
Michael Santaniello, a graduate student at SU studying entrepreneurship, capitalized on the down economy through joining in on a small business venture with friends in 2009.
The business, which produces back rests that can be used in space-limited areas such as dorm rooms to simulate the comfort of a couch, has fared well. Santaniello said while the poor economy has been rough on existing businesses, startup companies have more opportunities to grow as other businesses shut down.
Santaniello applied this logic to businesses in his hometown of Parsippany, NJ. Though he noticed more restaurants disappearing, he said new “restaurants are appearing just as fast.”
Being a magazine journalism major coupled with the uncertain economic climate has made Joshua Dermer, an SU sophomore, apprehensive regarding his future.
Dermer said his family has been relatively untouched by the recession. He acknowledged, however, being financially supported by his mother, a rehabilitation counselor, and father, a retired politician and teacher, has made pursuing a degree in the struggling field of journalism, less worrisome.
“When you have the money and you don’t have to worry, you can do, individually, what you’re interested in,” he said.
Alana Adler, a junior at SU, said being a tuition-paying student has brought the effects of the economy to the forefront. Adler’s father works as a developer — a business that is difficult to sustain during troubled economic times. Adler works in order raise money for day-to-day expenses such as food and books, because she doesn’t want to ask her parents, who are paying for tuition, for the money.
Adler said: “I work for money for myself, and I never used to have to do that before.”
Powered by Facebook Comments