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Unemployment for recent college grads is the lowest in a generation

Mitchell Hartman May 8, 2023
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College students graduating in 2023 are entering a strong labor market, according to recent data. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Unemployment for recent college grads is the lowest in a generation

Mitchell Hartman May 8, 2023
Heard on:
College students graduating in 2023 are entering a strong labor market, according to recent data. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The blockbuster April jobs report released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics had good news on a lot of fronts for workers, including those about to enter new jobs and professions after spending most of the pandemic in college.

The class of 2023 was sent home freshman year in the midst of COVID-19 shutdowns. The job market they face as graduating seniors is more than fully recovered, with employers edgy about a possible recession, but still desperate to hire.

Unemployment for 20- to 24-year-olds fell to 5.4% in April, the lowest it’s been since 1969.

The class of 2023 is entering a job market “that is much stronger than it was just one year ago, stronger than it was before the pandemic even began,” said Elise Gould at the Economic Policy Institute.

After years of virtual recruitment, many employers showed up on campuses this year, said Mary Gatta at the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

“They are planning to hire 3.9% more graduates than they did from the class of 2022,” Gatta said.

Lily Mura graduates from college next week in Indiana and heads to law school in the fall.

“I think with the labor shortage, there’s a growing awareness that young people have more power in the labor market,” Mura said.

But this generation still worries about the high cost of living, low entry-level wages and student debt.

“It seems like even if you have a bachelor’s degree, the jobs aren’t really enough to survive on your own and also pay back college loans,” said Emi Hinosawa, who also graduates later this month.

Hinosawa has a job lined up teaching English in Japan.

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