The Great Recession and the very slow pace of subsequent recovery has sky-rocketed the unemployment, as well as people on welfare and food stamps.  A record high of 15% or 46.37 million Americans are on food stamps in June last year — that’s almost one in every seven Americans.  That number is not expected to come down much without a significant improvement in the unemployment picture.

Even worse, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education

The number of people with graduate degrees — master’s degrees and doctorates — who have had to apply for food stamps, unemployment or other assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 2010.  Of the 22 million Americans with master’s degrees or higher in 2010, about 360,000 were receiving some kind of public assistance, according to the latest Current Population Survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau in March 2011.

So holding a PhD does not automatically walk you into even a decent paying job any more.  This infographic below from helps to illustrates this sad new reality in America.
America’s PhDs on Food Stamps