College Graduates Less Likely to Be Unemployed, per US Department of Labor Data

Last updated on: | Author: | MORE HEADLINES
Cite this page using APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian style guides

Source: Joel Cheesman, “The Top 10 Jobs for College Grads in the U.S.,”, Dec. 19, 2017

As almost 20 million students prepared to go back to US colleges and universities, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new unemployment statistics. The data indicated that people with at least a bachelor’s degree have more employment and higher participation in the workforce, but also showed that unemployment rates for less-educated workers is falling faster.

The July 2018 total unemployment rate was 3.2% for people over age 25 and 3.9% for those over 16. For those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, the rate was 2.2%, while those who earned associate’s degrees or went to college but did not graduate had a rate of 3.2%. The rate jumped to 4.0% for people with only a high school diploma and 5.1% for those who did not finish high school.

The numbers were an improvement over July 2017, when the rates were 3.6% for people over 25, 2.3% for bachelor’s degree holders and higher, 3.7% for an associate’s degree or some college, 4.5% for high school graduates, and 7.0% for those who did not finish high school.

While the unemployment rate for workers without high school degrees was higher than their counterparts with more education, the rate was the lowest it has been since 1992, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics adjusted how it measures education. However, fewer people without high school diplomas are participating in the workforce. In July 2018, 46.9% of people without high school diplomas were in the labor force, compared to 57.9% of those with high school diplomas, 65.4% of people with some college or associate’s degrees, and 73.4% of those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.


Dean Baker, “Unemployment Rate for Workers without High School Degrees Hits Record Low,”, Aug. 3, 2018

Graham Brink, “More Jobs, Lower Unemployment Rate: Five Quick Takes on the National Job Numbers,”, Aug. 3, 2018

Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The Employment Situation — July 2018,”, Aug. 3, 2018

The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Compare the States,”, Aug. 19, 2018