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February 2013, Vol. 136, No. 2
Recent college graduates in the U.S. labor force: data from the Current Population Survey
Thomas Luke Spreen
Thomas Luke Spreen is a doctoral student at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, and formerly an economist in the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Division of Labor Force Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Email: email@example.com.
Data collected each October in the School Enrollment Supplement to the Current Population Survey provide an annual snapshot of the demographic characteristics, labor force activity, and school enrollment status of each year's cohort of recent college graduates
Every year, thousands of recent graduates of colleges and universities across the United States enter the labor force with newly minted degrees and high hopes about their employment prospects.1 In October 2011, 74.5 percent of the 1.3 million 2011 recent college graduates were employed, according to data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The unemployment rate for the 2011 cohort of recent college graduates was 12.6 percent. CPS data also show variation in the labor force status of bachelor's and advanced degree recipients.
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1College graduates are persons who completed a bachelor's degree and higher, which includes bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.
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