Hard Times for College Grads, Hard Times for Ex-Offenders

College Grads: 

"A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge.

"Young adults with bachelor's degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs – waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example – and that's confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans." [Read more]

"According to a startling 2011 report from the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group, about 90 percent of companies are using criminal background checks in hiring decisions and about 65 million people have criminal records. The group found that companies of all sizes routinely deny people with records any chance to establish their qualifications, even for entry-level jobs like warehouse worker. These blanket exclusion policies flout the E.E.O.C. rules. They also ignore research showing that many offenders who stay out of trouble for even a brief period after their original crimes present little or no risk to employers." [Read more]