Employment Looking Up, Especially for College Graduates

By Catherine Groux
Posted September 07, 2012 10:00 AM

Many companies are now hiring college graduates.
Many companies are now hiring college graduates.
Last week, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 12,000, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report cited by The Associated Press. This means the number of applications fell to around 365,000 per week, which suggests hiring is improving and the unemployment rate is slowly decreasing.

Similar reports have provided additional uplifting news for job seekers. Recently, the ADP National Employment Report indicated that private employers across the nation added about 201,000 jobs in August, marking the highest gains since March, Reuters reports.

As the economy continues to recover, employment prospects remain the highest for individuals who have a college degree. Between December 2007 and February 2012, more than 5.8 million jobs for high school graduates were eliminated, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. At the same time, almost 2.2 million jobs were created for bachelor's degree holders.

While jobs for high school graduates were cut, the unemployment rate for these individuals has skyrocketed. Today, recent high school graduates face a jobless rate of about 24%, compared to 6.8% for four-year college graduates.

"Since the recession began, the economy has not been able to create enough jobs for the college-educated labor force, but unemployment rates for college-educated workers have stayed low relative to unemployment rates among those with only a high school diploma or less," the Georgetown report states.

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