This economic recession isn't doing any favours for any graduate anywhere, but I hadn't really noticed it's effect on the design industry until recently.
Previously, I had thought that design agencies would be in high demand due to companies that are struggling needing rebranding, new packaging or some sort of promotional boost whether it be in-store or online. Graphic designers are useful at boosting sales, so we are useful in the recession. Turns out alot of agencies are struggling and these are the ones who can find little work themselves. These agencies couldn't afford to take on an intern with no work to offer them; that's fair enough.
The Big Ones are worried. Even the agencies where work flow is high and the money is rolling in don't think it wise to take on a junior, and some Big Ones (not all) don't pay graduates either (after all it is a privelage to be asked there.)
Junior designers are a massive risk. They might not know Adobe well enough, they won't execute anything to the standard of a Mid-weight and certainly couldn't do it as fast. If anything it's like raising a child. It is not unheard of either to lose a newly obtained Junior Designer post because the company realises that it has taken too big a risk. Even if you did prove yourself, there's always going to be a designer that has more experience and is faster than you.
I think it is a crying shame that finances affect creativity like this. Companies, in order to make the most out of their design team, need to do things fast and well, and a Junior isn't ready for that yet. Despite the all important supposed youth and energy that we are meant to bring into the design process. Who needs New Blood anyway. We're not good enough yet. Besides, at this rate I'm not even going to be able to bring youth and energy to the table.