College Grad Jobless Rate Better Than It Seems, But Still a Major Concern for 20-Somethings

Bleak job numbers generate depressing headlines every week, but the jobless rate among most college graduates isn’t as bad as the rest of the economy, according to a number of stories in today’s Wall Street Journal.  Some college majors (mostly in the sciences)  have higher demand for talent than available candidates.  The unemployment rate for advertising and public relations majors is 6.1%–three percentage points better than the national average. 

Unemployment for all those under the age of 24 is 16%, although the unemployment rate for college graduates in that age group is 7.7%.   Unemployment rate among workers over 25 with college degrees is just 4.2%.  While the price of college education is being questioned by many today, these numbers underscore the value of getting your degree. 

The Journal’s Question of the Day is:  If you had to pick a college major today what would it be?  Based on the availability of jobs, you might not be surprised that science and math majors are running ahead of most other majors.    

In a series of articles this week, The Wall Street Journal will be devoting considerable coverage to 20-something unemployment.

3 thoughts on “College Grad Jobless Rate Better Than It Seems, But Still a Major Concern for 20-Somethings

  1. What drives me nuts about all these unemployment reports is that it ignores the “underemployed”-the 20 somethings with college degrees working part-time minimum wage jobs or doing unpaid internships. (I myself fall exactly into that category).

    I ended up choosing to do the PRAD program at DePaul because I was afraid that if I followed my original grad school plan (to get my MBA in Arts Administration at school like UW Madison) that I would be twice as educated, and equally as underemployed.

    Even if the market turns around and more jobs become available, these young college grads are still going to be doing jobs that are not in line with their ideal career goals and it may be a very long time before any of us are able to get there. (Chicago Symphony Orchestra Marketing team, I am still waiting on you!)

    1. Excellent points, Kathryn. Some experts say the “underemployed” numbers may be double the “official” numbers. I fear it’s even greater. Still, PR graduates with excellent resumes (internships and volunteer work) fare better than most others on college-major-to-career jobs ratios.

  2. I also wonder if the fact that not all “PR jobs” are necessarily categorized as PR skews numbers at all? As we all know it is a very broad field and it may have an impact on the numbers. I’d also be interested to see if it varies from industry to industry in PR.
    Thanks for the post…I’m graduating in December and thankfully I’ve landed a job with the organization I interned with. However, as I watch some of my peer on the job hunt the unemployment factor has really caught my attention.

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