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ERIC Number: ED570949
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jan
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
How Much Protection Does a College Degree Afford? The Impact of the Recession on Recent College Graduates
Economic Mobility Project
This report examines whether a college degree protected recent graduates from a range of poor employment outcomes during the recession, including unemployment, low-skill jobs, and lesser wages. The report draws upon data from the 2003-2011 Current Population Survey (CPS) to examine the early labor market outcomes of 21- through 24-year-olds. The report's key findings include: (1) Although all 21- to 24-year-olds experienced declines in employment and wages during the recession, the decline was considerably more severe for those with less education; (2) The comparatively high employment rate of recent college graduates was not driven by a sharp increase in those settling for lesser jobs or lower wages; (3) The share of non-working graduates seeking further education did not markedly change during the recession; and (4) Out-of-work college graduates were able to find jobs during the downturn with more success than their less-educated counterparts. The findings show that the deteriorating market situation of recent college graduates, while real and troubling, is nonetheless less extreme than that experienced by less-educated groups. An appendix includes data for 2003-2011 CPS Sample Sizes for Recent Graduates, Ages 21 to 24. Contains endnotes. [This research was conducted by David B. Grusky, Beth Red Bird, Natassia Rodriguez, and Christopher Wimer.]
Economic Mobility Project. Available from: Pew Charitable Trusts. 901 E Street NW 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-540-2000; Fax: 202-552-2299; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pew Charitable Trusts, Economic Mobility Project