4.2 % Unemployment rate…..wait WHAT?

Wouldn’t you love to live somewhere, where the unemployment rate is 4.2%? Interestingly enough that IS the unemployment rate right here in the good old USA. Wait what?

Now you might be thinking, “What is he talking about? I could have sworn the news told me the Unemployment rate is 8.3%, even if you go by just MA statistics the unemployment rate is at least 6.3% so where is this 4.2% business coming from.”

The 4.2% is the unemployment rate, for everyone who has a Bachelors degree or higher, as in most of you reading this blog. Yes the national average is 8.3%, but that 8.3% includes people who have less than high school diploma, as in those who did not graduate high school.  It includes people who have only a high school diploma, and people who just have associates degrees.  So why if the unemployment rate is so low for people with college degrees it never gets mentioned in the news? Here is a little secret about the news……when it’s bad it sells more.  So if you are about to graduate in June, and you are wondering “how am I ever going to get a job in this ‘horrible’ job market?” Just remember it’s not as bad as you think it is, statistically speaking 95.8% of you should have jobs after you graduate college.

6 Responses to “4.2 % Unemployment rate…..wait WHAT?”
  1. jwrodden says:

    I’m glad someone mentioned this. I’m tired of hearing people complain about the job market and the economy as the reason for all their shortcomings. The truth really is that while those who have a high school education or equivalent have felt the brunt of the temporary (and yes it is temporary, economies always go up and down) economic downturn, the job market for those with a higher education has remained relatively stable.

    • P says:

      Unless those people with a college education and above are just entering the job market and do not yet have valuable experience. I had an impressive resume, education-wise, in 2008, including many academic awards, nationally recognized research, and a masters degree. I was even working in my industry of choice in an entry-level job, but none of that prevented me from being laid off when the downturn occurred in 2008. First, I don’t see that as a personal shortcoming. I see that as bad timing and bad luck. Had I entered the job market with the same set of skills a few years earlier, I wouldn’t have been among the group that was laid off because I would have already had the chance to prove my worth. Second, I never once used “The Bad Economy” as a crutch, as you are implying. I don’t know anyone else who was unemployed who did. The fact is the economy was actually that bad. My unemployment, and the unemployment of so many others, was the result of the economic downturn and did not occur through any fault of my own or anything I could have controlled. I did my best to find full time work, but I remained underemployed for about a year after I was laid off. In the end, I had to change industries and job fields entirely in order to get a full time job; a job that I started at an entry level for much less than what I was making at my previous job. And the situation was worse for a significant number of people with higher education than I possess. I’m sorry if you’re tired of hearing it, (and honestly maybe you should be at this point because we’re seeing the best job numbers in 4 years) but maybe you should realize that you appear to be one of the lucky ones that emerged from this thing unscathed.

      Also, the same study referenced in this post also reported these facts:
      age range % unemployed
      25-34 8.7%
      35-44 6.8%
      45-54 6.4%
      55+ 5.9%

      People in my age group seem to still have the highest % unemployed. It would be most revealing to see these data cut by education level AND age group. Then we could compare the difference between %unemployed with higher education (whole population) and %unemployed without higher education (whole population) to the difference between %unemployed with higher education (25-34 age group) and %unemployed without higher education (25-34 age group). I bet the difference in percentages we’d see in the whole population would be larger than the difference in percentages we’d see in the 25-34 age group.

  2. Johnny says:

    What about the people that are underemployed? Many people lost their jobs and went back to work at a significantly reduced wage because they could not live of unemployment.

    • mukkamala0603 says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, I was actually waiting for this response. This is very true, there are a quite a few people who are under employed because they just needed a job. But one can make an argument, that people who are under employeed now may have been over employed to begin with? I’ll give you an example, I’m sure you have met people in your working career, that moved up the ranks in their job because of tenure. So yes they were very qualified for that paricular job, becaused they had worked therer for 15 years, but haven’t kept up with indusrty in terms of skills or knowledge. Meaning they figured as long as they know how to do that particular job they were ok, they didn’t feel the need to improve their knowledge base. This is not to say that what you are saying is wrong, but in my career I have found that people who took lesser jobs, haven’t stayed there for long. They just used that job as a stop gap.

  3. Interesting! I had no idea. There must be so many other interesting independent variables to slice that 8.3% by… level of education is a great one, and the news has hit on location by state, but what about industry, ethnicity… Of course, these are probably out there and I’m just not aware of them.

    And, I’m not sure if this is even possible since it’s a bit nuanced, but while we’re on the topic, it would be great if someone would track the nature of the change in unemployment rate (i.e. how much of its variability is due to an increase in the number of new jobs created vs the number of jobs that have become available because companies now have the money to hire once again). Mr. Mukkamala, why don’t you get on that? 🙂

    Also potentially interesting to this blog’s audience, how much has this (the crash, the attempts at recovery, the unemployment rate, and resulting changes in several industries, not just car manufacturing, real estate, and green technologies- how about law http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/business/for-lsat-sharp-drop-in-popularity-for-second-year.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120320) — how much has all of this change effected what people are choosing to major in? What are the most successful majors? Unemployment rate by major? Could be interesting.

    Oh and for you 4.2%: http://www.pambellarose.weebly.com/
    (I’m sorry, that was a shameless plug)
    (Wait, I’m not sorry)

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