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Employment rates of college graduates

Question:
What information do you have on the employment rates of college graduates?

Response:
Between 2000 and 2013, the unemployment rate for individuals without a bachelor's degree was generally higher than the rate for their peers with at least a bachelor's degree. This pattern was consistent for young adults (ages 20–24), 25- to 34-year-olds, and 25- to 64-year-olds. In 2013, for example, the unemployment rate for young adults was 29.2 percent for those who did not complete high school, 17.5 percent for those whose highest level of education was high school completion, and 12.2 percent for those with some college education, compared with an unemployment rate of 7.0 percent for those with at least a bachelor's degree. For 25- to 34-year-olds, the unemployment rates for those who did not complete high school (15.1 percent), for those who were high school completers (12.1 percent), and for those with some college education (8.0 percent) were also higher than the unemployment rate for those with a bachelor's or higher degree (3.6 percent). This pattern of higher unemployment rates corresponding with lower levels of educational attainment also generally held across males and females for each age group from 2000 to 2013.

In 2013, for young adults ages 20–24, there was no measurable difference in the unemployment rate between males and females among those whose highest level of education was less than high school completion, those with some college education, and those with at least a bachelor's degree. However, both the overall unemployment rate and the rate for high school completers were higher for males (16.5 and 19.0 percent, respectively) than for females (13.4 and 15.1 percent, respectively). For 25- to 64-year-olds, both the unemployment rate overall and the rate for high school completers were higher for males (6.9 and 9.2 percent, respectively) than for females (6.3 and 8.1 percent, respectively). The unemployment rate for those who did not complete high school was higher for females than for males (14.1 vs. 11.9 percent). Among individuals ages 25–34, the unemployment rate overall was higher for males than for females (8.4 vs. 7.5 percent). However, the unemployment rate for those who did not complete high school was higher for females than for males (19.3 vs. 13.2 percent).


Unemployment rates of persons 20 to 24 years old, by sex and educational attainment: Selected years, 2000 through 2013

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

NOTE: The unemployment rate is the percentage of persons in the civilian labor force who are not working and who made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the prior 4 weeks. The civilian labor force consists of all civilians who are employed or seeking employment. Data for 20- to 24-year-olds exclude persons enrolled in school. High school completion includes equivalency credentials, such as the General Educational Development (GED) credential.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2014). The Condition of Education 2014 (NCES 2014-083), Labor Force Participation and Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment.

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education