The unemployment rate for those with college and advanced college degrees is expected to hit a record high, according to economists. "In a flood everyone gets swept away," said Lawrence Mishel, an economist with the liberal Economic Policy Institute. The shift illustrates the quickening of a trend that began in the 1980s and that has made college-educated workers more vulnerable to layoffs. And those who are able to get jobs may need to compromise. "[The] next job may not have the title you want or the pay you want," said John Owen, a Virginia branch manager for Robert Half International, a national firm based in Menlo, Calif., that places accounting and finance professionals.

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