PeterK sends this story along saying that half of 2012 college grads will be unemployed or underemployed. More:

“I don’t even know what I’m looking for,” said Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative-writing degree.

I’m sorry, but with what?! Assuming he took four years to earn his degree, young Bledsoe was only halfway through his college career when the economy crashed hard, and everybody wondered if we were on the verge of a new Great Depression. Did he not read the papers? Honestly, even in the best of times, job prospects for a creative writing major are iffy. Did Bledsoe think that it was all going to work out somehow? Good grief. Were there no adults in his life who tried to warn him?

More from the story:

His situation highlights a widening but little-discussed labor problem. Perhaps more than ever, the choices that young adults make earlier in life — level of schooling, academic field and training, where to attend college, how to pay for it — are having long-lasting financial impact.

“You can make more money on average if you go to college, but it’s not true for everybody,” said Harvard economist Richard Freeman, noting the growing risk of a debt bubble with total U.S. student-loan debt surpassing $1 trillion. “If you’re not sure what you’re going to be doing, it probably bodes well to take some job, if you can get one, and get a sense first of what you want from college.”