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October 10, 2012
The unemployment rate for new college graduates is down significantly from last year, continuing a decrease in unemployment for this group, according to an analysis of the numbers released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics last week.
In September 2012, the unemployment rate for new college graduates—defined as college graduates ages 20 to 24—fell to 6.3 percent from 8.3 percent in September 2011 and 9.4 percent in September 2010.
“Because of data-collection anomalies, no one month can be taken as the absolute truth,” says Ed Koc, NACE’s director of strategic and Foundation research. “Instead, we look at quarterly and annual numbers for the larger story. These latest numbers confirm the trend of a slow, but steady, decrease in unemployment for new college graduates.
“The September 2012 numbers are in line with the trend shown over the first three quarters of the year where the unemployment rate for new graduates is dropping from the annual average of 8.8 percent for 2011 to a projected annual average of 7.5 percent for 2012.”
Koc says that since the percentage of new college graduates in the work force remained largely unchanged from last year—81.9 percent in September 2012 versus 81.8 percent in September 2011—the unemployment rate change was not impacted by new graduates simply leaving the work force.