For College Grads, Unemployment Rate Drops Below 4%

Last week's release of employment data for May painted a disappointing picture. But the jobs outlook is significantly better for applicants with a college education.


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The nationwide average unemployment rate for May once again topped 8%. That’s not quite a percentage point below May of last year and uncomfortably high for an economy nearly three years into a recovery.

But the average unemployment rate is just that — an average. Caroline McGlaun is with the Houston operations of staffing company Robert Half International.

“For college degreed workers that are 25 years of age and older, unemployment’s actually down to 3.9%.”

Most American economists define full employment at about 4%. McGlaun says, in Houston, there’s a rising demand for business and professional services.

“Typically speaking in a downturn, companies, one of the very first positions unfortunately that they think they can do without are the administrative roles, and they’re one of the first things to come back as well.”

Even for jobseekers with just a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is a hair better than the national average. For those without a diploma, though, it’s an eye- watering 13%.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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