Study shows economy worries students

Reanna Delgadillo

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Photo Illustration Paul Kingsley / Photo Editor

The recent economic downfall has severely affected senior Erik Maynard’s craft of music.

“As a musician, I’ve noticed a lot less gig opportunities and I’ve had to change my tactics as far as making money,” he said.

Maynard, 21, jazz studies major, said he has turned to website design to make extra money between music opportunities.

“When the economy seems to downturn it affects entertainment,” Maynard said.

He said he used to be an architect major, but once the economy failed, all of his professors were telling their students they would not be able to make any money in the current job climate.

“Being a professional musician is going to be super tough,” Maynard said.

Maynard said he is living with his parents right now but he is still worried about his financial responsibilities with the rising gas prices and his 45 minute commute everyday to campus becoming expensive.

“I don’t make enough money doing gigs so I can’t move out to Northridge,” Maynard said.

Maynard is not alone in his struggle to survive financially in this negative economy.

According to Harvard University’s Institute of Politics’ “Survey of Young Americans Attitudes Towards Politics and Public Service,” 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 to 29, also called “Millennials,” reported they were very concerned with meeting their bills and obligations.

The study published in March, discussed areas including political preference and activity, trust in American institutions and personal effects of the current economy.

Fifty-eight percent of “Millennials” said they were concerned with affording a place to live with a close 56 percent worried about being able to afford healthcare.

Eighty-five percent of the people polled currently enrolled in college said that it will be very difficult for their peers to obtain a permanent job after graduation.

Senior Nancy Rodriguez, 24, said she is worried about finding a job after she graduates in December.

“I have a job right now but I want a better one so meanwhile I’ll stay with the job I have,” the sociology major said.

Economics Professor Robert Krol, said there are jobs, but students just need to search.

“The thing students should remember is that there are still jobs out there. Jobs are still being created,” Krol said.

He said the search for jobs will take longer and should be started earlier than usual.

“Companies are hiring,” Krol said. “You can go on a variety of different job web based search and you’ll find lots of jobs.”

Krol said students should not be too narrow in their search areas and even a student who lives in Los Angeles should broaden their search outside of Southern California.

“You want to get that first job and get that experience,” Krol said. “You see job ads and they want two years of job experience.”

He added the job might not be the perfect job and it most likely will not be the job students have for the rest of their lives.

Krol said the National Bureau of Economic Research deemed July 2009 as the official end of the recession.

“But if you look at how the economy has reformed since that time there has been very, very modest improvements,” Krol said.

Krol said there has been a much slower than average rate of turn around in the economy using the high unemployment rate as an example.

“I’m pretty worried,” Krol said. “We had a severe recession. We still have some serious problems in the financial sector.”

Senior Fatoumata Conde, 22, an international student from Guiney, South Africa, said she was severely impacted by the recent economy downfall.

“We saw our tuition increase even more which made it harder for us because we have to always be full time and have 12 units so its extremely expensive each semester,” Conde said.

Conde, communications major, added that she is working on campus so when she graduates in the spring, she will not have a job and she will need to find  one to get experience.

Freshman John Wu, 18, said the economy woes have prevented him from being able to own the car he originally desired.

“Two months ago, I was going to get a car and my dad said he couldn’t afford it so I had to downgrade,” said the cinema and television arts (CTVA) major.

Be a little bit more conservative in how you spend your money and to be smart, Krol said.

“Don’t have the latest cell phone or drive the fanciest car,” Krol said.  “Your goal at this point in your life is to get that degree. Watch your dollars.”