What's the Historical Average Employment Rate for Recent College Grads?

There are multiple government agencies that create reports about employment rates. These agencies also make predictions about possible employment in the future. Typically, these reports break down information by education level, which can be helpful when you want to know statistics about recent college grads.

2010-2020 Job Openings that Require a Bachelor's Degree

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that, as of July 2018, roughly 6.9 million jobs would be available per year(www.bls.gov). During this period, the BLS stated that jobs would be most readily available in the fields of mining and logging, trade and transportation, education, and hospitality.

The BLS did note that despite an expected large number of job openings for college graduates, you might face some competition for jobs in certain fields, such as those that hire individuals with college degrees from multiple disciplines. Additionally, the number of qualified workers may be larger than the number of job openings.

Important Facts About Employment for New College Grads

Average Starting Salary (2016) $50,000 (graduates with bachelor's degrees)
Essential Tools Graduates who attend job fairs, craft eye-catching resumes, take advantage of their social networks, and show up to interviews with confidence and energy make attractive candidates.
Employer Considerations Internships, work experience, volunteer experience, college major, GPA, extracurricular activities
Continuing Education In some fields, like computer science, mathematics, and information technology, getting a master's level degree could lead to higher pay and more job opportunities.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

2018 Unemployment Rates of College Graduates vs. High School Graduates

As of 2018, the unemployment rate among recent college graduates is 2.2%. Individuals holding a bachelor's degree earned a median weekly salary of $1,198 during that year. In comparison, the unemployment rate of recent high school graduates is 4.1%, with a median weekly salary of $730.

BLS 2016-2026 Employment Information

The BLS publishes reports on employment rates, noting the education required for each profession. In 2016, the BLS reported that high school graduates would have the greatest luck finding a job as a personal care aide, which had a projected growth of 777,600 jobs between 2016 and 2026. The median salary for such a position is projected to be $21,920.

For graduates of bachelor's degree programs, the BLS reports that the fastest growing field is nursing. Between 2016 and 2026, 438,100 nursing positions are projected to open up. Nurses can expect to make a median wage of $68,450 per year.

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