Americans who received bachelor's degrees in 2008 were roughly twice as likely to be unemployed after a year than were their peers who graduated in 1993 and 2000, the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics said in a report Thursday. Mostly to blame, the researchers said: the recession.
Within one year of completing a bachelor’s degree, 2008 graduates had an unemployment rate of 9 percent, compared to 4 percent for 1993 graduates and 5 percent for those who earned bachelor's degrees in 2000. Female graduates in 2008 were less likely to be unemployed than were their male peers -- 8 percent vs. 10 percent -- and white graduates had a lower unemployment rate (8 percent) than did other ethnic groups, whose rates ranged from 12 to 16 percent.
Far fewer of the 2008 graduates (64 percent) had full-time jobs one year out of college than did their peers from the 2000 (78 percent) and 1994 (79 percent) cohorts.
To deal with a job market that was much tougher than the one faced by those from earlier years, 2008 graduates appeared to adopt multiple strategies.
Of those working, for instance, 27 percent reported that their job was unrelated to their undergraduate major, compared with 22 percent in 2001 and 24 percent in 1994. Larger proportions had multiple jobs: 14 percent of the 2008 grads, compared to 3 percent and 7 percent from 1993 and 2000, respectively.
And more of the 2008 graduates (22 percent) were pursuing postbaccalaureate education one year after college than were those from 2000 (21 percent) and 1994 (18 percent).
When it comes to how much the graduates made annually one year out of college, the median annual salaries were much lower in 2009 than in 2001. For example, those in the humanities made $30,000 vs. $35,900.