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ERIC Number: ED535270
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Pages: 66
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession. Work Trends
Stone, Charley; Van Horn, Carl; Zukin, Cliff
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development
This report describes the findings of a nationally representative sample of 444 recent college graduates from the class of 2006 through 2011. The purpose of this study is to understand how recent college graduates are faring in the workforce, specifically looking at those individuals who graduated before and during the difficult labor market caused by the Great Recession. The national recession officially began in late 2007 and ended in 2009. However, the authors classify students graduating from 2006 and 2007 as "pre-recession" graduates and students graduating in 2009, 2010, and 2011 as "recession"-era graduates because the unemployment situation was dire during this entire period, even though economic growth was positive. A previous study, "Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy," conducted by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development in May 2011 surveyed 571 graduates from the years 2006-2010. The 444 college graduates that comprise the sample for the April/May 2012 study include 315 respondents who were re-interviewed and 129 new respondents who graduated in 2011. The research explores a number of topics related to the experience of recent college graduates in the workforce. The first two sections of the report analyze respondents' current and past experience in the labor market through a series of questions asking about their job search, the specifications of the job they chose, and their satisfaction with the job attributes. The third section examines the college experience of these graduates, with a particular focus on college funding and debt. The fourth section looks at how well recent college graduates feel they were prepared for the job market. The final section examines how recent college graduates see their financial futures. Appended are: (1) Methodology; (2) Topline Survey Results; and (3) Voices of College Graduates. (Contains 20 figures, 6 tables, and 4 endnotes.)
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Rutgers University, 30 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Tel: 732-932-4100; Fax: 732-932-3454; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development