The Job Market for Recent College Graduates is Finally Improving

Current numbers are showing it is the best time to enter the job market in over a decade for recent college graduates. This makes 2016 college graduates the luckiest graduating class in terms of employment prospects in recent years, helping to quantify the post-recession economic recovery.

According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates is now 5.6 percent, which is close to where it stood at the beginning of the recession (standing at 5.5 percent in 2007). Further, as an article on FiveThirtyEight points out, wages are rising quickly for recent college graduates. On average, recent graduates earned $13 an hour in the first three months of 2016 (a 50 cent increase an hour from 2015). The article also states that perhaps the best evidence of improvement in the job market for recent graduates is that the percentage of young graduates participating in the labor force is finally rising after years of decline.

Although this is an improvement, 2016 graduates will still battle several economic challenges as levels of unemployment and underemployment are still high. Yet, this story was not nearly as hopeful just a few years ago. According to FiveThirtyEight, a student who graduated from college during the recession who was able to find full time employment earned around $7,000 less in their first six years of work than recent college graduates from before the recession began.


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