College Guide

Blog

April 25, 2012 10:00 AM About Half of College Graduates Don’t (Really) Have Jobs

By Daniel Luzer

This will, no doubt, fuel the ”too much college” crowd, but it turns out that the economy is still pretty hard on recent college graduates.

According to an Associated Press article in the Huffington Post:

About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41 percent, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields.
Out of the 1.5 million who languished in the job market, about half were underemployed, an increase from the previous year.

It’s worth pointing out that it’s not the highest share ever, it’s just the highest since 2000, when the country was also in a recession. Those college graduates eventually got normal, professional jobs and are probably fine today.

But recent gradautes don’t all have these good jobs yet and the student loans are coming due. The economy goes up and down. Recently college graduates won’t stay unemployed forever. They’ll get jobs, the same way they eventually did in the last recession.

That being said, there is a difference. Because while the economy goes up and down, student loan burdens just go up over time. It’s always hard to make ends meet on a bartender’s salary; it’s a lot harder when the bartender has $25,000 in student loans, that’s the average loan burden now.

The average student only had $17,000 worth of student loan debt in 2000.

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