Underemployment in the early careers of college graduates following the Great Recession
Though labor market conditions steadily improved following the Great Recession, underemployment among recent college graduates continued to climb, reaching highs not seen since the early 1990s. In this paper, we take a closer look at the jobs held by underemployed college graduates in the early stages of their careers during the first few years after the Great Recession. Contrary to popular perception, we show that relatively few recent graduates were working in low-skilled service jobs, and that many of the underemployed worked in fairly well paid non-college jobs requiring some degree of ...
Do colleges and universities increase their region's human capital?
We investigate whether the degree production and research and development (R&D) activities of colleges and universities are related to the amount and types of human capital present in the metropolitan areas where the institutions are located. We find that degree production has only a small positive relationship with local stocks of human capital, suggesting that migration plays an important role in the geographic distribution of human capital. Moreover, we show that spillovers from academic R&D activities tilt the structure of local labor markets toward occupations requiring innovation and ...
The recession's impact on the state budgets of New York and New Jersey
In the wake of the most recent U.S. recession, both New York State and New Jersey have faced multibillion-dollar budget gaps. An analysis of the makeup of their budgets reveals that the states' heavy reliance on personal income taxes--particularly from high-wage earners in the finance sector--has exacerbated revenue shortfalls. To close their budget gaps, New York and New Jersey have had to make difficult choices about tax increases and service cuts. In the future, the states might take steps to avert such budget quandaries by establishing "rainy day" funds or restructuring taxes to make ...
Some Workers Have Been Hit Much Harder than Others by the Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the United States, in just two months—between February and April 2020—the nation saw well over 20 million workers lose their jobs, an unprecedented 15 percent decline. Since then, substantial progress has been made, but employment still remains 5 percent below its pre-pandemic level. However, not all workers have been affected equally. This post is the first in a three-part series exploring disparities in labor market outcomes during the pandemic—and represents an extension of ongoing research into heterogeneities and inequalities in people’s ...
Do the benefits of college still outweigh the costs?
In recent years, students have been paying more to attend college and earning less upon graduation?trends that have led many observers to question whether a college education remains a good investment. However, an analysis of the economic returns to college since the 1970s demonstrates that the benefits of both a bachelor?s degree and an associate?s degree still tend to outweigh the costs, with both degrees earning a return of about 15 percent over the past decade. The return has remained high in spite of rising tuition and falling earnings because the wages of those without a college degree ...
Population Lost: Puerto Rico's Troubling Out-Migration
For the first time in modern history, Puerto Rico is seeing its population decline. This troubling loss can be traced to an exodus of Puerto Rican citizens to the U.S. mainland, a current that has picked up considerably in recent years as Puerto Rico's economy has deteriorated. Today, fully a third of those born in Puerto Rico now reside on the U.S. mainland. In this post, we examine the recent surge in out-migration that is driving Puerto Rico's population decline (which we delve into in more detail in a recent article in the New York Fed's Current Issues in Economics and Finance series), ...
Manufacturing matters: conference explores challenges faced by Buffalo's manufacturing sector
The June 6 conference "Manufacturing Matters" was sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Buffalo Branch in conjunction with the Western New York Technology Development Center and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership's Manufacturers Council.
Small businesses in upstate New York rank barriers to growth
The Buffalo Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) surveyed small businesses in western and central New York State. The object of the survey was to identify what small business owners perceive to be the chief barriers to the growth of their companies. We provide an overview of the survey and its findings. The barriers to growth cited in upstate New York are similar to those cited nationwide: nonwage worker costs, state and federal taxes, and energy costs. Small business owners also see several advantages to their upstate New York ...
Local Hangovers: How the Housing Boom and Bust Affected Jobs in Metro Areas
What explains why some places suffered particularly severe job losses during the Great Recession? In this post, we extend our recent Current Issues article analyzing regional dimensions of the latest housing cycle and show that metropolitan areas that experienced the biggest housing booms and busts from 2000 to 2008 lost the most jobs during the recession. Not surprisingly, construction activity helps explain the tight link between housing and local job market performance. Given this pattern, we believe that each metro area’s boom-bust experience is likely to continue to influence its ...
The Value of a College Degree
Not so long ago, people rarely questioned the value of a college degree. A bachelor's degree was seen as a surefire ticket to a career-oriented, good-paying job. Today, however, many people are uncertain whether going to college is such a wise decision. It's easy to see why. Tuition costs have been rising considerably faster than inflation, student debt is mounting, wages for college graduates have been falling, and recent college graduates have been struggling to find good jobs. These trends might lead one to believe that college is no longer a good investment. But when you dig into the ...