The employment outlook for recent college graduates still isn’t looking great, but at least it’s looking better. According to USA Today:

On April 5, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report evaluating the job market for recent college graduates. The report indicates that in October 2011, the unemployment rate for 20 to 29-year-olds who had graduated with bachelor’s degrees in 2011 was 13.5%. While the numbers have fallen since the peak at 17.6% in 2009, they remain higher than pre-recession rates.

College graduates are also more likely to be employed than those without degrees.

The March jobs report released Friday showed that workers ages 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher were far less unemployed than those with lower levels of educational attainment. This trend held bachelor’s degree or higher recipients at 3.8% unemployment, compared with those with less than a high school diploma (11.1% unemployment).

Granted, that 13.5 percent unemployment rate for recent graduates doesn’t mean that 86.5 percent of recent grads all have particularly good jobs. Those graduates who don’t count as unemployed don’t necessarily all have jobs that require a bachelor’s degree. Any full-time job counts. Here’s the distribution of graduates by industry.


“Wholesale and retail trade,” “leisure and hospitality”, and “health care and social assistance” certainly include a lot of pretty crappy jobs. Still, a paycheck is a paycheck.

In 2007, before the recession, the unemployment rate for recent graduates was under 9 percent.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer