Focus Policy Blog

minority serving institutions

Young Black College Graduates Hit Hard by Economic Downturn

Among college graduates, black recent college graduates have been hit hardest by the Great Recession and a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research examines this issue.  The pre-Recession unemployment rate for black college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 nearly tripled after the recession jumping to 12.4 percent.  The rate of underemployed black college graduates increased by 10 percent to 55.9 percent after the recession.  Even in higher demand fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the rate of unemployment increased by 22 percent for black college graduates after the recession.  Young black college graduates are doubly disadvantaged because the economic downturn has particularly hurt young workers and because racial discrimination in the labor market is ongoing.  Both of those issues need to be addressed for significant improvements to follow.

Patrice Garnette, Joint Center Graduate Scholar, The George Washington University Law School