WASHINGTON — In response to the growing frustrations of jobless (or interning and income-less) college graduates, Congress has passed a new bill that will allow recent grads to bypass the employment phase entirely and collect unemployment benefits immediately after graduating. At several public universities, students can even receive their first government check at the same time as they are handed their diploma. The bill is meant to alleviate the financial situations of indebted students and their families, and also to take pressure off of colleges whose reputations are tarnished by poor graduate income levels.
Janine Laredo, a liberal arts student who graduated with a degree in Culinary Anthropology and has been unsuccessfully trying to find work as a celebrity chef since 2011, is one of many young people thrilled with the new bill. “The way unemployment worked before, it was just absurd,” she said. “Did you know that in order to collect unemployment, you have to have already had a job? That’s crazy! No one has a job!”
The Catch-22 for graduates seeking work has always been the same – you can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job. After four years of communal living, partying, and intriguing studies, it can be very stressful to go out into the real world, where nobody wants to even talk to you. This bill is designed as a way to ease the post-grad transition, because, after all, it is the government’s responsibility.
“Don’t think of it as a handout,” said Jim Doleman, former Sociology major and leading architect of the bill. “Think of it as a good report card that everyone gets, regardless of their grades. It’s only fair.”