College graduation ceremonies have begun around the US, marking the culmination of four hard years of undergraduate studies for new graduates. This also means droves of new job seekers will enter the market.
Since the 2007-2008 recession, much of the news for new job seekers has been bleak, with intermittent periods where the market rebounds. But two charts from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York show that graduates of the class of 2015 should feel a little better about their job prospects than their predecessors.
While the availability of non-college jobs has been steadily increasing since 2009, the job postings for college jobs has been much less dramatic, even levelling off by 2013, and declining through mid-2014. But thankfully for this year’s for college graduates, the number of postings for college jobs is once again rising. It has increased by more than 10% through the first part of 2015, according to the New York Fed.
During the recession, both the unemployment rate and underemployment rate rose sharply and continued to climb in its aftermath. But starting around 2011, unemployment and underemployment diverged, with unemployment decreasing and underemployment increasing. This movement suggested that while more college educated job seekers found employment, they were undesirable jobs — and potentially ones that didn’t require the college degrees.
But the tide has begun to turn, with underemployment again falling since June 2014.
While both of these charts should provide some optimism to recent college graduates, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York cautions job seekers to keep this data in perspective. Underemployment rates still remain relatively high compared to historical figures, so there is still much room for further improvement.
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