Underemployment Hits Recent Graduates the Hardest

Stories of college graduates working as baristas and taxi drivers have played into a narrative about how college-degree recipients are struggling to find work that uses their education.

At the same time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the jobless rate for workers with at least a bachelor’s degree fell to 2.9 percent for the month of September. How can both be true? Many of those with jobs are considered “underemployed,” since they are in jobs that don’t require a college degree.

Unlike unemployment, underemployment does not have a universal measurement, nor does it receive as much attention. The lack of an underemployment figure—in particular, a measurement based on educational attainment—leaves the picture of how graduates are doing fuzzy.

A survey released in August by PayScale, a compensation-research company, attempts to fill some of the void, finding that graduates over a broad range of college majors have significant levels of underemployment. The findings highlight nine majors, including criminal justice, business management, and sociology, that have underemployment rates of over 50 percent. <Read more.>

Via Lance Lambert, The Chronicle of Higher Education.