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Starving population: Jobs look scarce for everyone

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By Erin Hudson

By Erin Hudson

“I’m sorry but we’re not accepting applications.” These are the words I hear everytime I enter a restaurant in search of a job.

What happened to the days when the hostess at least pretended you have a chance at getting hired?

I started off my job search with the mindset that I would up grade from my previous job as a server. This new job would have to be better than the one I just quit and wouldn’t settle for less.

After the weeks drug on, I accepted the fact that maybe, just maybe, getting a job that was on the same level as my last one wouldn’t be so bad.

After all, there’s always room for improvement right?

It’s three months later now, and I’ll take just about anything I can get. I’m not asking where all the good jobs have gone; I’m asking where have the jobs gone all together.

We hear it all the time that the economy is suffering, but I had no idea it would affect my job search. I’m just a little college student looking for part time work, but I’ve never struggled so much in finding one.

After a particularly hard day of searching, that consisted of stopping at 10 places and only be asked to fill out one application, (the graveyard shift at Denny’s, keep your fingers crossed), it started to open my eyes at just how bad the economy really is right now.

The unemployment rate in the US is high and only getting higher, rising from 4.8 percent to 5.1 in March 2008 and now it’s up to 5.8.

This number doesn’t just represent students wanting to pay their cell phone bills, it also represents families struggling to put food on the table.

Competition in the job market has increased because of the decrease of employment opportunities. Not only am I up against other starving students but also career men and women. These people have resume’s…and even more intimidating…actual college degrees.

But we college students do have a saving grace, not only do we have the BOG Waiver, Cal Grants and other various student loans that can at least pay for classes and sometimes other school expenses, but there are also many jobs on campus that are open for students.

The Student Employment Center is open in the Financial Aid building Monday through Thursday, 9am to 2pm, and there’s at least one Job Fair a year in the Quad and it usually takes place before winter break.

I also had the chance to talk to the District Dean of Student Financial Services, Eugenia Vincent, about some of the job opportunities available here at RCC.

There’s a program called Monstertrak, which is a software application open 24/7 for students that offers jobs on and off campus.

She urged students who are looking for work to “come in to the Financial Aid office and really look at the Monstertrak website, http://www.monstertrak.com…there are jobs offered from the Cancellor’s Office, to the Cafeteria, to tutoring…off campus jobs are where we really need to give back are the local elementary schools”.

Employment opportunities are pretty rare.

But with the fluctuating economy, who knows what will happen in the next few weeks or months. Maybe with the upcoming elections, some of the Presidential Candidates will get us out of this slump.

As for me, my cell phone bill still needs to be paid. My advice to my fellow classmates: Keep your jobs! And if you don’t have a job, well thank goodness for student loans.

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