The job market for college graduates this year is the strongest since the Great Recession, according to economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The unemployment rate for recent college graduates, age 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor’s degree, is just under 4%, down from more than 7% in 2011, and even less that the national jobless rate of 4.4% as of April 2017.
In addition, salaries for college grads are up; the median is now around $43,000 per year, up from just under $40,000 in 2012.
The underemployment rate for college grads has also fallen. The rate, which measures the share of graduates working in jobs that typically don’t require a college degree, stands at 43.5%. That seems like a big number but, according to New York Fed economist Richard Deitz, is nothing to worry about.
In a Q&A on the bank’s website, Deitz noted that the high underemployment rate tends to be temporary, a function of new graduates starting in low-skilled service work before shifting to better jobs as they gain more experience. Contrary to media reports, “only a small fraction of recent graduates” worked as a barista or some other low-skilled job in the years after the Great Recession, said Deitz.