Almost every parent of a recent college grad (or of a kid now in college) I talk to is worried: It's been so hard for recent college grads--recent being the past five years--to find career jobs. The parents I am talking to have kids who've attended good colleges and who graduated in the requisite four years with respectable or better grades. There have been lots of internships--some paid, though at a very low rate--but those only last a year and few of them have led to future employment. Some of the college grads have taken waitering, receptionist or babysitting jobs to earn money, but the struggle to find a foothold in the type of job for which they were educated has been elusive--not non-existent but few and far between. A recent New York Times article's headline said it all: It Takes a B.A. to Find a Job as a File Clerk.
So it's tough out there--for the young adults and their parents as well. (We also suffer who sit, watch and wait.) But the New York Times Economix blog has another take on the situation--with lots of graphs and charts to give worried parents some insights into the job potential for their college-educated kids and the ultimate value of that college degree.
Here are some of the high points.According to a recent report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the job prospects of new college graduates, the graduates of the class of 2011 had an unemployment rate of 14 percent as of October 2011. But that number refers to joblessness just a few months after graduation. The unemployment rate drops sharply for all recent college graduates in their 20s. It is especially sharp when compared with the jobless rate for all high school graduates in the same age group.
The next chart looks at comparable numbers for the employment-population ratio, or the share of people within each population who have a job (as opposed to being unemployed or not looking for work at all).
So, while many of our college-educated kids are getting jobs well below their education-skill level, they are at least finding work, unlike their less-educated peers.
"As the economy continues to improve," Catherine Rampell, the NYTimes economic reporter who penned the piece, writes, "those recent college graduates will be better situated to find promotions to jobs that do use their higher skills and pay better wages."
From her mouth to the Corporate-God-Who-Hires ear.