The Great Recession affected everyone, but recent college graduates have had continued difficulty finding jobs. The first edition of Hard Times shows that despite the sluggish recovery, the overall unemployment rates for recent college graduates have dropped 7.9 percent (2010), compared to the 8.9 percent (2009) unemployment rate.

Key Findings


Architecture: Even as the housing bubble seems to be dissipating, unemployment rates for recent architecture graduates have remained high (12.8%). Graduates with experience in the field have the same jobless rates as the economy overall (9.3%).


Technology: People who make technology are still better off than people who use technology. Unemployment rates for recent graduates in information systems, concentrated in clerical functions, is high (14.7%) compared with mathematics (5.9%) and computer science (8.7%).


Education: Unemployment rates are relatively low for recent graduates in education (5.0%), engineering (7.0%), health and the sciences (4.8%) because they are tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations.


Healthcare: Graduates in psychology and social work also have relatively low rates (8.8%) because almost half of them work in healthcare or education sectors.

 PowerPoint

Full Report

The Great Recession affected everyone, but recent college graduates have had continued difficulty finding jobs. Despite the sluggish recovery, however, the overall unemployment rates for recent college graduates have dropped 7.9 percent (2010), compared to the 8.9 percent (2009) unemployment rate in the first edition of Hard Times.

In the past, a college degree all but assured job seekers employment and high earnings, but today, what you make depends on what you take. In Hard Times 2013, we show differences in unemployment and earnings based on major for BA and graduate degree holders. We show that STEM majors typically offer the best opportunities for employment and earnings, while unemployment is higher for graduates with non-technical degrees.

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