College graduates’ job prospects improve somewhat

04/23/2014 1:24 PM

04/23/2014 6:14 PM

Job prospects for new college graduates are expected to be better this year than in the last half-dozen years.

But it still isn’t good, The Associated Press reports. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate for 2013 college graduates — people ages 20 to 29 with a four-year or advanced degree — was 10.9 percent. That compares pretty well with 13.3 percent in 2012 and was the lowest it has been since 7.7 percent in 2007 before the start of the Great Recession.

Joblessness for recent graduates was still higher than the 9.6 percent rate for all Americans age 20 to 29 reported last October. Recent graduates are saying they are having to settle for lesser jobs with lower wages and work that’s not in their field of study.

That will make it difficult for them to pay back student loans, which now surpass credit card debt in the U.S., and even tougher for young people to buy a new car or their first house. They are starting off behind and will have a hard time catching up.

The economic drag affecting them also will hurt the overall economic recovery and likely continue for years the problem of new graduates finding work. It’s prompting many to ask whether going to college was worth the time and expense.

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