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Discussion Paper
Are the Job Prospects of Recent College Graduates Improving?

The promise of finding a good job upon graduation has always been an important consideration when weighing the value of a college degree. In our final post of this week’s blog series, we take a look at the job prospects of recent college graduates. While unemployment among recent graduates has continued to fall since 2011, underemployment has continued to climb—meaning that fewer graduates are finding jobs that make use of their degrees. Do these trends mean that there has been a decline in the demand for those with college degrees? Using data on online job postings, we show that after ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20140904a

Discussion Paper
The Class of 2015 Might Have a Little Better Luck Finding a Good Job

With the college graduation season well under way, a new crop of freshly minted graduates is entering the job market and many bright young minds are hoping to land a good first job. It?'s no wonder if they are approaching the job hunt with some trepidation. For a number of years now, recent college graduates have been struggling to find good jobs. However, the labor market for college graduates is improving. After declining for nearly two years, openings for jobs requiring a college degree have picked up since last summer. Not only has this increase in the demand for educated workers ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20150515

Report
Agglomeration and job matching among college graduates

We examine job matching as a potential source of urban agglomeration economies. Focusing on college graduates, we construct two direct measures of job matching based on how well an individual?s job corresponds to his or her college education. Consistent with matching-based theories of urban agglomeration, we find evidence that larger and thicker local labor markets increase both the likelihood and quality of a job match for college graduates. We then assess the extent to which better job matching of college-educated workers increases individual-level wages and thereby contributes to the urban ...
Staff Reports , Paper 587

Report
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 ...
Staff Reports , Paper 749

Discussion Paper
Benefits Cliffs as a Barrier to Career Advancement for Low-Income Adults: Insights from Employment Services Providers

How do employment service providers explain benefits cliffs to clients who want to advance in their careers? To answer this question, the authors conducted three focus groups with a range of employment service providers. Focus group participants report that counselors and clients struggle to manage benefits loss because of a lack of clarity on program rules and difficulty finding appropriate jobs that pay enough to outweigh the loss of benefits. When advising clients about career advancement, counselors use a range of intake processes to determine clients’ immediate needs and assess their ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2020-2

Journal Article
Are recent college graduates finding good jobs?

According to numerous accounts, the Great Recession has left many recent college graduates struggling to find jobs that utilize their education. However, a look at the data on the employment outcomes for recent graduates over the past two decades suggests that such difficulties are not a new phenomenon: individuals just beginning their careers often need time to transition into the labor market. Still, the percentage who are unemployed or ?underemployed??working in a job that typically does not require a bachelor?s degree?has risen, particularly since the 2001 recession. Moreover, the quality ...
Current Issues in Economics and Finance , Volume 20

Discussion Paper
Working as a Barista After College Is Not as Common as You Might Think

The image of a newly minted college graduate working behind the counter of a hip coffee shop has become a hallmark of the plight of recent college graduates following the Great Recession. Recurring news stories about young college graduates stuck in low-skilled jobs make it easy to see why many college students may be worried about their futures. However, while there is some truth behind the popular image of the college-educated barista, this portrayal is really more myth than reality. Although many recent college graduates are “underemployed”—working in jobs that typically don’t ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20160111

Discussion Paper
Do Big Cities Help College Graduates Find Better Jobs?

Although the unemployment rate of workers with a college degree has remained well below average since the Great Recession, there is growing concern that college graduates are increasingly underemployed?that is, working in a job that does not require a college degree or the skills acquired through their chosen field of study. Our recent New York Fed staff report indicates that one important factor affecting the ability of workers to find jobs that match their skills is where they look for a job. In particular, we show that looking for a job in big cities, which have larger and thicker local ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20130520

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