According to an online article SmartMoney magazine titled, "The Jobless Class of 2012":

Only a half of those who graduated since 2006 are now employed full time, according to a recent Rutgers University survey.

Here's a link to the PDF report that statement is based on, and the news release covering it too. The report was the result of interviews with 444 graduates of four-year colleges and universities from the classes of 2006 through 2011.

Is it roughly true that half of those who graduated from colleges and universities from 2006 to 2011 were employed full time in 2012?

UPDATE: According to analysis of a January 2011 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report, "only 47% of working age Americans have full time jobs".


The number of young adults in America who have full-time employment is currently at its lowest in four years, even for those workers who have a college degree, according to a recent Gallup survey.

Less than half, about 44 percent, of adults aged 18 to 29 held a full-time job as of June 2013. That number is down from 46.3 percent in 2010, as well as the previous low of 45.8 percent in 2011. Last year, 47 percent of young adults were employed full-time.

(source: July 29, 2013)

  • 1
    The recent change to the title makes this question time-dependent. I think it should be changed back.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 3:03
  • @Oddthinking: Been watching the question since 2012, and have no reason to believe that the title change impacts the validity of the question, now, or in the near future. If for some reason someone posted an answer, and the question became dated, it would be clear enough via the dates on the answer(s), question, and any references cited. Happy to change it back, but made the change to improve the question.
    – blunders
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 3:07
  • Of course some of those who graduated in the past 5 years are still in graduate school.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 10:29
  • Also consider that a significant portion of graduates have married and are being a "homemaker" rather than working in a paid job. Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


Based on the Economic Policy Institute's analysis of unemployment and underemployment in recent college graduates, we can see historical annual data for young college graduates aged 20-24 who are not enrolled in further schooling.


In June 2012 (the middle of the year), the average young graduate had

  • An unemployment rate of 7.9%
  • An underemployment rate of 16.1%, including all involuntary part-time workers, i.e. those who want full-time work but cannot find it
  • An employment rate of (100 - 7.9 - 16.1) = 76%

An overall employment rate of 76% makes the original claim unlikely. However, it's still plausible that the 26% gap is explained by voluntary part-time workers, who don't desire a full-time job. It's also possible that differences in the eligibility criteria contribute to the gap, since the students who graduated from 2006-2011 aren't the same as the recent college graduates aged 20-24.

  • How many went on to get another degree, though? They would be neither employed nor unemployed. Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 0:17
  • You're correct in pointing out that the study I cited doesn't include people enrolled in further education, while OP's question doesn't specify a restriction like that.
    – Reubend
    Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 6:22
  • The way the question is worded those going for another degree would be part of the half that weren't employed full time. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 15:46

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