According to a report released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a college degree has very little impact on the racial employment gap.
The study, A College Degree is No Guarantee, shows that in 2013, 12.4 percent of black college students who earned their diplomas between the ages of 22 and 27 were jobless.
In contrast, college graduates as a whole had an unemployment rate of half that – 5.6 percent.
Just prior to the Great Recession, the unemployment rate for black college graduates stood at 4.6 percent in 2007. But that number tripled by 2013, boosting up nearly 8 percentage points. In 2013, more than half (55.9 percent) of employed black college graduates were “underemployed,” a term used to describe someone in an occupation that does not typically require a four-year college education.
But even before the Great Recession, nearly half of black recent graduates were underemployed, with data showing a 45 percent rate in 2007.
Overall unemployment among blacks has consistently remained twice that of white workers, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The study reinforces the prevalence of racial discrimination among U.S. employers. Authors of the study noted that “black men were less likely to receive a call back than equally qualified white men, and black men with no criminal record fared worse than recently incarcerated white men.”
Black college graduates of all ages consistently have higher unemployment rates, higher underemployment rates and lower wages than their white counterparts.
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