Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Racial Discrimination, College Degrees and Unemployment

The report, “A College Degree is no Guarantee,” examines labor-market outcomes for black recent college graduates (ages 22 to 27) from as far back as 1970 through the most recent available data.

 The main findings include:
  • In 2013, 12.4 percent of black college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 were unemployed. For all college graduates in the same age range, the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.
  • Between 2007 (immediately before the Great Recession) and 2013, the unemployment rate for black recent college graduates nearly tripled (up 7.8 percentage points from 4.6 percent in 2007).
  • In 2013, more than half (55.9 percent) of employed black recent college graduates were “underemployed” –defined as working in an occupation that typically does not require a four-year college degree. Even before the Great Recession, almost half of black recent graduates were underemployed (45.0 percent in 2007).
  • Black recent college graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors have fared somewhat better, but still suffer from high unemployment and underemployment rates. For example, for the years 2010 to 2012, among black recent graduates with degrees in engineering, the average unemployment rate was 10 percent and the underemployment rate was 32 percent.
“These outcomes reflect the strong negative effect of economic downturns on young workers in general, but, in part, these results also  reflect ongoing racial discrimination in the labor market,” said Janelle Jones, an author of the report and a research associate at CEPR. “Earning a college degree blunts the effects of the economic downturn and racial discrimination, , but college is not a guarantee against either set of challenges for young black workers.”

from here

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