In the guise of pitching her book on career and family yesterday, Mika Brzezinski had this to say:
Finding a job is hard enough, but have you ever considered the odds and the challenges of finding a good man?
Bad news, girls. The odds are definitely better on getting the right job than getting a good partner for life. Someone who will grow with you. Someone to develop memories with. Someone who was there in the beginning. Someone who will be there at the end.
Don’t push away that chance if you’re one of the lucky ones who find that partner. And remember, you can always change a job. I hear it’s much harder to switch out a husband.
Now maybe this will come as a surprise to someone born into fame and connections like Mika, but it’s not actually all that easy to find a job. As CNN pointed out the other day, statistically it’s actually harder to find a job right now than it is to get into Harvard (or Mika’s alma mater of Williams).
Since the beginning of the recession in December 2007, job openings declined from 4.4 million to 2.4 million and the number of officially unemployed persons grew from 7.5 million to 15.7 million, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If the 15.7 million officially unemployed workers were to apply for those 2.4 million jobs, the chance of any one of them finding a job are about 15 percent, or roughly the same odds as being accepted to the University of Pennsylvania.
The exclusion of these so-called “discouraged” workers from statistics means that the official number of unemployed severely understates the weakness in the labor market. If you include these workers, the unemployment rate would rise to 13 percent, or 21.3 million.
If these workers were to apply for the 2.4 million jobs available, the odds of securing a job would be 11.2 percent, or roughly the same as getting into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Adding part-time workers to the number of officially unemployed and the discouraged workers, as labor market expert Leo Hindery, Jr., has observed, results in a rise in the real unemployment rate to 19.2 percent, or 30.6 million people.
The odds of any one of these 30 million securing one of the 2.4 million full-time jobs available is 8 percent, the same as the admissions rate of the Ivy League gold standard, Harvard University.
Now, maybe Mika had an exceptionally difficult time finding her husband. After all, if it was harder finding him than finding a job, that means she must have had around a 7% chance of finding him.
Or perhaps someone with Mika’s connections just has no fucking clue how hard it is for average people to actually find a job. Perhaps Mika has just inadvertently revealed that she is a newsperson who doesn’t have the faintest clue what is happening out there in the real world, as millions of people struggle to find some way to make a living.
I’m guessing it’s the latter. Which sort of defeats the purpose of pitching your book–proving that you are completely unaware of and therefore incapable of providing advice on careers to real people.