The most recent issue of the New Yorker has delivered a brutal message to the class of 2016. The poignant cover image for the May 30 edition, for a story titled "Commencement," features graduates of the class walking past a 2015 graduate raking mortarboards, or graduation caps, off a tree. The implication is that the 2016 class' career prospects are just as grim.
Indeed, while economic improvement under President Barack Obama prevented the image of, say a panhandler, the growth of work primarily at the bottom, least skilled end of the labor pool in recent years brings the photo home.
The rise of automation, combined with minimum wage increases, has also conspired to put those jobs under threat, as well. The employment crunch has led to more Americans between the ages of 18 to 34 choosing to live with their parents instead of opting for other living arrangements, the Pew Research Center reported this week.
Online, the reaction to the New Yorker article was morose. Viewers described it as "incredibly poignant" and said it illustrates the "pathetic" U.S. job market.