Report | Education

Graduate Employment Gap: Students of color losing ground

Briefing Paper #282

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This Briefing Paper further explores the racial and ethnic variation in the employment situation for recent high school and college graduates.

By race, all groups of recent high school graduates have seen a large increase in their unemployment rate. Immediately prior to the recession, Hispanic and Asian American high school graduates had lower unemployment rates than white high school graduates. The large increases in unemployment among Hispanic and Asian American youth, however, have eliminated their unemployment rate advantage relative to whites.

Although recent college graduates have lower unemployment rates than high school graduates, they have nonetheless seen a significant increase in their unemployment rate over the recession. All of the nonwhite groups of college graduates showed a much stronger increase than white college graduates in unemployment over the recession.

Recent black high school and college graduates face a considerable disadvantage. Black high school graduates were much less likely than their nonblack peers to find work. Black college graduates experienced the double whammy of the highest unemployment rates and the highest student loan debt levels.

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