Breaking into the job market is tough for all recent college grads, but a new study shows that African-Americans have a significantly harder time than their peers.
According to a new report by Center for Economic and Policy Research, the unemployment rate for recent Black grads ages 22 to 27 is 12.4 percent, more than double the 5.6 percent unemployed among all college grads. And even for those fortunate enough to have a job, the study finds that more than half of black graduates, 55.9 percent to be exact, are underemployed, defined as “working in an occupation that typically does not require a four-year college degree.”
What’s going on? John Schmitt, one of the authors of the study, blames racism, a faltering economy and an unequal playing field for the troubling statistic.
“We live in a racist society,” he tells Al Jazeera. “We internalize a lot of views about the way people are that are deeply embedded in a lot of our economic and social policies. It’s extremely complicated, but the first step is that we need to acknowledge that we have a problem.”
While unemployment for blacks has almost always been higher than the national rate, the recession took an especially harsh toll, with an unemployment gap between blacks and the national rate growing from about 4 percentage points to nearly 6 points. And even for those who have jobs, the moribund economy has come with a financial cost.
As the Huffington Post points out, the black jobless rate has been consistently double the white jobless rate for over 60 years. “Combine these two factors, and you get a job market that’s particularly hostile to young black Americans leaving college,” the site reports. “Experts note that a person starting out at a disadvantage straight out of college will face the economic consequences over a lifetime. That’s because as Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, puts it, ‘earnings over the course of a career depend critically on where a person begins.’ If the trend of black college grads facing significantly heightened unemployment rates persists, it’s certainly not going to do anything to help the country’s already-wide racial wealth gap.”
Check out the chart below. This is definitely a hard pill to swallow.
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1. Get These Degrees In College
The National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE) surveyed nearly 10k college seniors who were to graduate with their bachelor’s degree spring of 2013 to determine which majors garnered the most job offers. The results were taken from students graduating in 17 different majors, who were actively looking for full-time work upon graduation. ) This is NACE’s list of academic majors offering more jobs.
2. Computer Science: 68.7%
Jobs With This Degree: Computer and Information Systems Manager Computer Hardware Engineer Computer Programmer Computer Support Specialist Computer Systems Analyst Database Administrator Network and Computer Systems Administrator Software Developer Software Engineer Web Developer
3. Economics: : 61.5%
Jobs With This Degree: Administrative Assistant Analyst Assistant Project Manager Budget Analyst Economist, Industry Analyst Field Marketing Associate Financial Assistant Leasing Consultant Loan Officer Operations Research Systems Analyst Project Administrator Research Assistant Sales Engineer Sales Intern State Policy Analyst Statistician Systems
4. Accounting: 61.2%
Jobs With This Degree: Certified Public Accountant Payroll Manager Auditor Entrepreneur Plant Accountant Assistant Controller Estate Planner Professor Bank Examiner FBI Agent Public Accountant Benefits Administrator Financial Analyst Securities Broker Budgetary Control Analyst Government Accountant Stockbroker CIA Agent General Auditor Systems Analyst
5. Engineering: 59%
Jobs With This Degree: Aeronautic / Avionic Engineering Bio-Engineering CAD / Drafting Chemical Engineering Civil & Structural Engineering Electrical / Electronics Engineering Energy / Nuclear Engineering Environmental and Geological Engineering Industrial / Manufacturing Engineering Mechanical Engineering Naval Architecture / Marine Engineering
6. Business Administration: 54.3%
Jobs With This Degree: Accountant Acquisitions Tax Manager Agency Underwriter Banker Billing Clerk Certified Financial Planner Clerical Aide Fashion Merchandising Technician General Office Assistants
7. Social Worker: 42.5%
Jobs With This Degree: Adolescent Specialist Child and Family Social Worker Gerontological Social Worker Healthcare Social Worker Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker School Social Worker
8. Mathematics/Statistics: 40.3%
Jobs With This Degree: Actuary Budget Analyst Economist Financial Analyst Mathematician Operations Research Analyst Statistician
9. Psychology: 39.2%
Jobs With This Degree: Case Management Career Counselor Rehabilitation Specialist Psychiatric Technician
10. History/Political Science: 38.9%
Jobs With This Degree: Government service Public administration Public history Museum work Politics and public service Business, journalism Law enforcement Non-profit organizations
11. Healthcare: 37.8%
Jobs With This Degree: Health Administrator Mental Health Therapist Speech-Language Pathologist Case Manager Occupational Therapist Physical Therapist Social Worker Epidemiologist Medical Library Technician Genetic Counselor
12. Liberal Arts/Humanities: 36.8%
Jobs With This Degree: Archaeologist College professor Consultant Cultural anthropologist Editor/writer Geologist Historian Linguistic anthropologist Museum curator Park interpreter Physical anthropologist Oceanographer Statistician Travel agent/guide
13. Biology: 35.2%
Jobs With This Degree: Dentist Optometrist Pharmacist Physician Physician Assistant Podiatrist Veterinarian Veterinary Assistant and Animal Caretaker
14. Communications/Journalism: 33.8%
Jobs With This Degree: Author Reporter Editor Newscaster Publicity Manager Advertising Manager Marketing Specialist Lobbyist Advertising Specialist Marketing Specialist Copy Writer Account Executive Manager Media Planner Media Buyer
15. English: 33%
Jobs With This Degree: Editorial Assistant Copy Writer Sales Account Manager IT Project Manager Proposal Manager Web Developer Human Resource Generalist Marketing Director Technical Writer
16. Environmental Science: 30.5%
Jobs With This Degree: Research Scientist Environmental Scientist Wetland Soil Specialist Geologist Hydrologist Environmental Coordinator
17. Education: 28.9%
Jobs With This Degree: Education Coordinator Compensation Analyst Assessment Consultant Guidance Counselor Instructional Coordinator Training and Development Specialist or Manager Instructional Designer Health Educator
18. Visual & Performing Arts: 27.8%
Jobs With This Degree: Dancer Performer Actor Artist Painter Sculptor Fashion Designer Acrobat Choreographer Dance Academy Proprietor Dance instructor Dance therapist Director Fashion model Professional dancer Stunt performer
19. Rashida Maples, Esq.
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.