By Gail MarksJarvis
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new study analyzed data from 167 occupations, responsibilities within those occupations and earnings. The study compared the experience of recent college graduates against recent grads of years past and found that people who entered jobs shortly after the 2008 recession did worse than previous generations, but NOT as badly as commonly thought.
The college graduate underemployment epidemic is easing.
And the stereotypical image of young people stuck in parents’ basements, working as baristas at Starbucks and wondering why they burdened themselves with $30,000 in student loan debt is becoming outdated.
There are still too many recent graduates in jobs that didn’t require them to go to college, but the situation is improving.
A highly cited report several years ago found 53.6 percent of recent college graduates were out of work or underemployed in 2011. But recently released data from a separate source shows that in 2014 only about 33 percent of people fresh out of college didn’t have jobs that required college educations and after age 22 their career paths were much improved.
The latest figures were released by Stephen Rose of the Urban Institute, who analyzed the American Consumer Survey of 2014.
That 33 percent number is clearly not reassuring for those who went to college and expected more, but the general trend into more opportunity for college graduates is encouraging.
Generally, people straight out of college are most likely to have problems finding good jobs during a recession, but as they move through their 20s and 30s they get into jobs that are a better match for their educational background, Rose said.
By their prime earning years, between 35 and 55, they may not even recall that they struggled to get ahead when young, he said.