In this Sept. 21, 2009 photo, Ryan Cassil, of Washington, D.C., a recent college graduate with a major in political science and business, is seeking a position in finance during a job fair at a hotel in Boston. The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits falls for the third straight week Thursday, Sept. 24, evidence that layoffs are continuing to ease.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington, D.C., found that wages for college graduates "fared poorly during the Great Recession and its aftermath."
Perhaps not surprisingly, wages fell 4.6 percent from 2007 to 2011. Job-winning graduates in 2011 earned about $16.81 an hour, or $35,000 a year.
While the recession played a major role in the decline, that's not the whole story.
EPI researchers found a "period of general wage stagnation" between 2000 and 2007. Combine that stretch with a recession and the lackluster recovery that followed, and you face more sobering results.
"Between 2000 and 2011, the wages of young college graduates dropped 5.4 percent (1.6 percent for men and 8.5 percent for women)," the report said.
The economists found the post-2000 wage drop stood in sharp contrast to the big wage gains of 1995 to 2000, when the unemployment rate was low.
But there is some good news.
Career centers across Minnesota report an uptick in hiring interest from corporate recruiters. More graduates are getting jobs or internships than in previous years. But many of the lucky grads come from a pool of select majors, such as engineering, economics, marketing, and IT.
From the Star Tribune's On the Job blog: startribune.com/onthejob