Though this year the sentiment has been that things are lookingup for recent college graduates, there is still room for improvement, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank whose goal is to discuss the needs of low- and middle-income workers.
In a new report, “The Class of 2015,’’ researchers at the EPI found that members of this year’s graduating class have better job prospects than classes that graduated from 2009 to 2014.
But according to the EPI:
“The Class of 2015 still faces real economic challenges, as evidenced by elevated levels of unemployment and underemployment, and a large share of graduates who still remain “idled’’ by the economy. In addition, wages of young high school and college graduates have failed to reach their prerecession levels, and have in fact stagnated or declined for almost every group since 2000.’’
About 15 percent of current young college graduates are underemployed. Another 7 percent of current young college grads are completely unemployed.
Looking at Massachusetts specifically, in 2014, 13.4 percent of workers under 25 years old were unemployed and 22 percent were underemployed, though the state had one of the country’s highest college enrollment rates at 47 percent.
And those that do have jobs, aren’t getting paid very much.
The EPI reported that wages for young college grads today are 2.5 percent lower than they were in 2000 before the recession, and women’s hourly wages in particular have dropped. Not only are women still doing worse, blacks and Hispanics have much higher unemployment rates than white non-Hispanics.
To top off the wage decrease, college education is getting more expensive and the EPI said there are a lacking number of federal and state assistance programs available for young people who don’t have much work experience, as they are often ineligible.
Top 30 fastest-growing jobs by 2018: