A report done by the Economic Policy Institute shows unemployment for young college graduates was 10.4% in 2010, and the underemployment rate was 19.8%. For young high school graduates, the statistics were even grimmer: unemployment was 32.7% in 2010, and the underemployment rate was 55.9%.
From the Economic Policy Institute --
But on the bright side... the Master Degree counter workers at McDonald's will now know how to give change!Though the labor market is now headed in the right direction, the prospects for young high school and college graduates remain grim. This briefing paper examines the labor market that confronts young graduates who are not enrolled in additional schooling—specifically, high school graduates age 17–20 and college graduates age 21–24—and details the following findings:
- Unemployment and underemployment rates of young graduates have only modestly improved since their peak in 2010.
- For young high school graduates, the unemployment rate was 32.7 percent in 2010 and 31.1 percent over the last year (April 2011–March 2012), while the underemployment rate was 55.9 percent in 2010 and 54.0 percent over the last year.
- For young college graduates, the unemployment rate was 10.4 percent in 2010 and 9.4 percent over the last year, while the underemployment rate was 19.8 percent in 2010 and 19.1 percent over the last year.
- There is no evidence that young high school graduates have been able to “shelter in school” from the labor market effects of the Great Recession; college and university enrollment rates for both men and women have not meaningfully departed from their long-term trend since the start of the Great Recession.
- The long-run wage trends for young graduates are bleak, with wages substantially lower today than they were in 2000. Between 2000 and 2011, the real (inflation-adjusted) wages of young high school graduates declined by 11.1 percent, and the real wages of young college graduates declined by 5.4 percent.
- Young graduates lack opportunities for advancement, a trend underscored by the fact that there are now nearly 30 percent fewer voluntary quits each month than there were each month in 2007.
- Graduating in a bad economy has long-lasting economic consequences. For the next 10 to 15 years, the Class of 2012 will likely earn less than they would have if they had graduated when job opportunities were plentiful.
- The safety net of federal and state assistance programs often does not cover young workers due to eligibility requirements such as significant prior work experience.
- The cost of higher education has grown far more rapidly than median family income, leaving students with little choice but to take out loans, which, upon graduating into a labor market with limited job opportunities, they may not have the funds to repay.
- The scarcity of job opportunities for the Class of 2012 is a symptom of weak demand for workers in the overall economy. What will bring down the unemployment rate of young workers most quickly and effectively are policies that will generate strong job growth overall, such as fiscal relief to states, substantial additional investment in infrastructure, expanded safety net measures, and direct job creation programs in communities particularly hard-hit by unemployment.
To read the whole report click here.
Unemployment and underemployment rates for young college graduates, 1994–2012