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The Impact of the Recession on College Grads

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 5:11 PM

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College graduates who earned their diploma in 2008 faced starting their careers in the worst economic downturn in nearly a century. A report out this week from the U.S. Department of Education gives a picture of how those graduates fared over the next four years. StateImpact Ohio's Amy Hansen reports.

Of the roughly 17,000 graduates surveyed who didn’t head back to school to ride out the recession, 83 percent reported landing some type of employment four years after their graduation.

Eighty-five percent of those worked a single full-time job, with the rest working one or more jobs part time.

Michael Jones, the Director of Research at The University of Cincinnati’s Economic Center, said he’s not overly encouraged by the report’s findings.

He points out the unemployment rate is seven percent among those 2008 grads, roughly three percent higher than the overall unemployment rate for adults between the ages of 25 and 34 with a college degree.

That’s troubling, he said, since additional research already predicts that this group may struggle far beyond their graduation day.

“Those who graduate in a recession typically have earnings about 9 percent less than they otherwise would have,” Jones said. “And that effect continues to persist of lower earnings all the way up to about ten years later.”

Jones added the real benchmark will be seeing if that income gap closes in the next few years.

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