New college grads are the most unemployed in today’s job market

Lucas Chung graduated in May with a hefty resume: A near-perfect college GPA, several internships and a stint running cross-country for Team USA. Since then he’s applied to hundreds of jobs, but has ended up with little more than a pile of rejection letters.

“I had high hopes but it’s not really working out for me,” said Chung, 22, who double-majored in political science and communications at St. Mary’s College of California. “I’m feeling a little desperate.”

Despite a surprisingly robust job market, recent college graduates have been having a harder time finding work than the rest of the population since the pandemic. This marks a sharp reversal from long-held norms, when a newly-minted college degree all but guaranteed a better shot at employment. Since 1990, the unemployment rate for recent grads almost always has been lower than for the general population.

But that changed after covid. New grads have consistently fared worse than other jobseekers since January 2021, and that gap has only widened in recent months. The latest unemployment rate for recent graduates, at 4.4 percent, is higher than the overall joblessness rate and nearly double the rate for all workers with a college degree, according to an analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Part of the problem is that the industries with the biggest worker shortages — including restaurants, hotels, day cares and nursing homes — aren’t…

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