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Local college graduates frustrated by economy, underemployment

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RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- Recent college graduates not only have to deal with the burdens of student loans, many also face challenges entering their field of choice.

"Everyone is just floating around in limbo just trying to figure out what to do," Joan Biddle, a 2011 graduate from VCU, said.

Biddle works at a popular cupcake shop in Carytown.  While it pays the bills it doesn't require her college degree. 

"Ever since May, I've been working here," Biddle said.

A couple shops down from Biddle is another struggling recent graduate. Grace Morano is on her seventh job since graduating from theatre school in New York.

"It's tough every day feeling inspired to do what you want to do," Morano said.

The stories of Morano and Biddle are similar to the ones playing out in most towns in the United States.

According to a recent report by the Associated Press, 53 percent of bachelor's degree holders under the age of 25 were underemployed or jobless last year.

Will this be a factor in the presidential election? We asked political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth.

"The real question is who are they going to blame?” he said. “Are they going to blame President Obama and by and large move to the Republican side?”

“Or will they not vote at all?” Holsworth said.

Many local Richmond leaders believe the "underemployment" issue is a problem.

"It's an epidemic," James Holland, Chairman of the Capital Region CLEO program, told CBS 6.

Holland cut the ribbon on a new Resource Workforce Center in Henrico on Monday.

"This facility will allow them to come in and meet with someone who can help them with the skill sets they need to meet the job requirements, Holland said.

As for Morano and Biddle, they are just hoping to enter the workforce soon in the field for which they went to school.

"I want to make my parents proud and myself proud," Morano said.