For Many Black Graduates, A College Degree Is Not A Job Guarantee

For Many Black Graduates, A College Degree Is Not A Job Guarantee
Black graduates must learn to start their own businesses

AFRICANGLOBE – The Great Recession has made things tough for new college graduates, especially true for African-American students.

A new study shows that 12.4 percent of Black college graduates aged 22 to 27 are unemployed, compared with the average rate of just 5.6 percent. Between 2007 (prior to the recession) and 2013, the unemployment rate for Black recent college graduates nearly tripled.

“The results were pretty distressing,” said John Schmitt, senior economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, and co-author of the study. “We found that one in eight young Black college graduates is unemployed, and over half — about 55 percent — of young Black college graduates who have a job are actually in a job that doesn’t require a four-year degree at all.”

Schmitt stresses that the report is not an indictment of a college degree. Students he looked at with college degrees had a much better employment outcome than those without. But a degree itself, even one in the coveted STEM disciplines, does not give Black grads an advantage equal to that of their peers.

“It is an indicator of the very strong social forces that young Black workers are up against in the labor market,” said Schmitt. “Both a bad labor market, but also a real ongoing case of racism and discrimination in the labor market, which still exists.”

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