Out of College, Out of Work: Number of College Grads With Jobs Dropped 406,000 in June

July 6, 2012 - 10:02 AM
Barack Obama

President Barack Obama speaking at the Barnard College commencment in May 2012. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - There was a net decline of 406,000 in the number of Americans age 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or higher who were working in the United States in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A net of 309,000 in this demographic simply dropped out of the labor force, which means they neither had a job in June nor actively tried to find one, according to BLS.

The number of Americans age 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or higher who were “unemployed”—meaning they did not have a job but did actively try to find one—increased by 96,000 in June.

According to the new seasonally adjusted numbers that BLS released on Friday, there were 46,355,000 Americans age 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or higher who held jobs in May. In June, that number fell to 45,949,000—a decline of 406,000.

In May, according to BLS, there had been 48,232,000 Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher who were in the “labor force”—meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one. However, in June, that number fell to 47,923,000—meaning a net of 309,000 college-educated Americans age 25 or older had left the labor force in and were no longer even seeking a job.

From May to June, the number of college grads who were counted as “unemployed”—meaning they did not have a job but had tried to get one in the past month—climbed by 96,000, from 1,877,000 in May to 1,973,000 in June.

According to the Census Bureau, there has been a dramatic increase over the past four decades in the percentage of Americans who attain college degrees. In 1970, according to the Census Bureau, only 10.7 percent of Americans age 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 2010, 29.9 percent of Americans age 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The unemployment rate among college graduates increased in June, but still remained lower than 8.2 percent unemployment rate among the overall population. In May, the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent among Americans age 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or higher. In June, it rose to 4.1 percent.