Want to know how college grads fare in the job market? New portal aims to help

Unemployment rate hits just 4.9%

The job market for recent college graduates is improving, according to an analysis released Friday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The report was accompanied by an interactive portal that will allow users to view the latest data on wages, unemployment, and underemployment for recent graduates, defined as people aged 22 to 27 who hold a bachelor's degree. Users can also compare this group with data from several other demographics, such as individuals without a bachelor's degree or the general population of all workers.

The report analyzes federal employment outcomes data from January 1990 to September 2015. It echoes findings from another report released last month by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, Jillian Berman reports for MarketWatch.

Researchers found that recent grads' unemployment rate dropped to 4.9%, the lowest level since March 2009. In contrast, the rate for all "young workers" is about 10%.

And the underemployment rate for recent graduates fell to about 45%, the lowest rate since January 2012. Coupled with the fact that median wages for college graduates are at their highest levels in a decade, career outlooks look pretty positive.

However, wages vary significantly by major: those who studied computer engineering earn $60,000 early in their career and face a 19.1% underemployment rate, but sociology majors face early career wages of $33,000 and a 56.5% underemployment rate (Berman, MarketWatch, 1/30; Douglas-Gabriel, "Grade Point," Washington Post, 1/29).

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