Young college graduates recovered much faster in pandemic business cycle compared with the Great Recession: Unemployment and underemployment for college graduates (ages 21–24) not enrolled in further schooling, 2000–2024

Unemployment rate Underemployment rate
Jan-2000 5.10% 7.66%
Feb-2000 5.19% 7.63%
Mar-2000 5.42% 7.85%
Apr-2000 5.44% 7.94%
May-2000 5.44% 8.04%
Jun-2000 5.26% 7.93%
Jul-2000 5.03% 7.78%
Aug-2000 4.88% 7.52%
Sep-2000 4.71% 7.36%
Oct-2000 4.50% 7.21%
Nov-2000 4.35% 7.08%
Dec-2000 4.28% 6.95%
Jan-2001 4.28% 6.94%
Feb-2001 4.17% 6.93%
Mar-2001 4.06% 6.90%
Apr-2001 4.09% 6.92%
May-2001 4.14% 6.92%
Jun-2001 4.23% 7.16%
Jul-2001 4.34% 7.29%
Aug-2001 4.89% 8.03%
Sep-2001 5.43% 8.65%
Oct-2001 5.54% 8.98%
Nov-2001 5.77% 9.25%
Dec-2001 5.90% 9.40%
Jan-2002 5.91% 9.49%
Feb-2002 6.13% 9.87%
Mar-2002 6.20% 9.89%
Apr-2002 6.26% 10.11%
May-2002 6.29% 10.16%
Jun-2002 6.24% 10.05%
Jul-2002 6.31% 10.14%
Aug-2002 6.07% 9.71%
Sep-2002 5.84% 9.48%
Oct-2002 5.86% 9.28%
Nov-2002 5.73% 9.10%
Dec-2002 5.74% 9.22%
Jan-2003 5.96% 9.56%
Feb-2003 5.98% 9.49%
Mar-2003 6.06% 9.76%
Apr-2003 6.09% 9.80%
May-2003 6.12% 10.02%
Jun-2003 6.22% 10.29%
Jul-2003 6.32% 10.54%
Aug-2003 6.37% 10.74%
Sep-2003 6.25% 10.68%
Oct-2003 6.38% 11.02%
Nov-2003 6.48% 11.31%
Dec-2003 6.42% 11.32%
Jan-2004 6.26% 11.28%
Feb-2004 6.23% 11.43%
Mar-2004 6.35% 11.52%
Apr-2004 6.29% 11.50%
May-2004 6.13% 11.26%
Jun-2004 6.24% 11.20%
Jul-2004 5.97% 10.89%
Aug-2004 5.72% 10.68%
Sep-2004 5.68% 10.68%
Oct-2004 5.56% 10.62%
Nov-2004 5.71% 10.52%
Dec-2004 5.92% 10.65%
Jan-2005 6.07% 10.66%
Feb-2005 6.13% 10.60%
Mar-2005 5.91% 10.43%
Apr-2005 5.93% 10.54%
May-2005 6.02% 10.65%
Jun-2005 5.75% 10.37%
Jul-2005 5.98% 10.47%
Aug-2005 6.13% 10.64%
Sep-2005 6.14% 10.55%
Oct-2005 6.05% 10.43%
Nov-2005 5.81% 10.33%
Dec-2005 5.48% 10.04%
Jan-2006 5.26% 9.83%
Feb-2006 5.13% 9.74%
Mar-2006 5.09% 9.59%
Apr-2006 4.90% 9.25%
May-2006 4.76% 9.07%
Jun-2006 4.88% 9.20%
Jul-2006 4.84% 9.22%
Aug-2006 4.77% 8.95%
Sep-2006 4.71% 8.83%
Oct-2006 4.83% 8.85%
Nov-2006 4.81% 8.77%
Dec-2006 4.99% 8.90%
Jan-2007 4.99% 9.01%
Feb-2007 4.96% 8.77%
Mar-2007 4.93% 8.73%
Apr-2007 5.07% 8.82%
May-2007 5.15% 8.88%
Jun-2007 5.17% 8.94%
Jul-2007 5.15% 9.04%
Aug-2007 5.24% 9.16%
Sep-2007 5.46% 9.51%
Oct-2007 5.48% 9.46%
Nov-2007 5.62% 9.61%
Dec-2007 5.52% 9.55%
Jan-2008 5.58% 9.30%
Feb-2008 5.57% 9.43%
Mar-2008 5.56% 9.35%
Apr-2008 5.50% 9.45%
May-2008 5.54% 9.59%
Jun-2008 5.54% 9.84%
Jul-2008 5.70% 9.94%
Aug-2008 5.77% 10.11%
Sep-2008 5.70% 10.01%
Oct-2008 5.78% 10.13%
Nov-2008 5.75% 10.30%
Dec-2008 5.93% 10.66%
Jan-2009 6.17% 11.24%
Feb-2009 6.52% 11.76%
Mar-2009 6.88% 12.56%
Apr-2009 7.16% 13.03%
May-2009 7.44% 13.41%
Jun-2009 7.80% 13.89%
Jul-2009 7.92% 14.31%
Aug-2009 8.27% 15.11%
Sep-2009 8.43% 15.68%
Oct-2009 8.68% 16.25%
Nov-2009 8.90% 16.73%
Dec-2009 9.07% 17.21%
Jan-2010 9.15% 17.47%
Feb-2010 9.19% 17.70%
Mar-2010 9.16% 17.61%
Apr-2010 9.29% 17.84%
May-2010 9.29% 17.99%
Jun-2010 9.32% 18.05%
Jul-2010 9.49% 18.25%
Aug-2010 9.38% 17.78%
Sep-2010 9.37% 17.98%
Oct-2010 9.36% 18.07%
Nov-2010 9.48% 18.09%
Dec-2010 9.58% 18.17%
Jan-2011 9.74% 18.35%
Feb-2011 9.80% 18.37%
Mar-2011 9.89% 18.54%
Apr-2011 9.75% 18.29%
May-2011 9.67% 18.15%
Jun-2011 9.73% 18.23%
Jul-2011 9.89% 18.42%
Aug-2011 9.93% 18.89%
Sep-2011 9.88% 18.67%
Oct-2011 9.79% 18.49%
Nov-2011 9.53% 18.36%
Dec-2011 9.34% 17.94%
Jan-2012 9.15%  17.74% 
Feb-2012 8.96% 17.64%
Mar-2012 8.67% 17.47%
Apr-2012 8.72% 17.45%
May-2012 8.73% 17.35%
Jun-2012 8.51% 17.19%
Jul-2012 8.27% 17.13%
Aug-2012 8.18% 16.98%
Sep-2012 8.00% 16.95%
Oct-2012 7.85% 16.72%
Nov-2012 7.89% 16.56%
Dec-2012 8.00% 16.82%
Jan-2013 8.02% 16.76%
Feb-2013 8.09% 16.77%
Mar-2013 8.24% 16.78%
Apr-2013 8.21% 16.89%
May-2013 8.25% 17.12%
Jun-2013 8.33% 17.08%
Jul-2013 8.29% 16.91%
Aug-2013 8.43% 16.84%
Sep-2013 8.59% 16.90%
Oct-2013 8.64% 17.09%
Nov-2013 8.62% 17.11%
Dec-2013 8.59% 16.87%
Jan-2014 8.61% 16.94%
Feb-2014 8.58% 16.84%
Mar-2014 8.47% 16.75%
Apr-2014 8.23% 16.38%
May-2014 8.01% 15.99%
Jun-2014 7.86% 15.90%
Jul-2014 7.88% 15.77%
Aug-2014 7.64% 15.40%
Sep-2014 7.64% 15.14%
Oct-2014 7.71% 15.09%
Nov-2014 7.64% 15.05%
Dec-2014 7.51% 15.12%
Jan-2015 7.38% 14.98%
Feb-2015 7.34% 15.05%
Mar-2015 7.24% 14.89%
Apr-2015 7.31% 14.85%
May-2015 7.29% 14.89%
Jun-2015 7.01% 14.50%
Jul-2015 6.73% 14.15%
Aug-2015 6.62% 14.09%
Sep-2015 6.55% 14.07%
Oct-2015 6.36% 13.82%
Nov-2015 6.23% 13.52%
Dec-2015 6.01% 13.19%
Jan-2016 5.82% 12.93%
Feb-2016 5.64% 12.47%
Mar-2016 5.58% 12.30%
Apr-2016 5.55% 12.30%
May-2016 5.46% 12.27%
Jun-2016 5.65% 12.45%
Jul-2016 5.54% 12.37%
Aug-2016 5.59% 12.27%
Sep-2016 5.42% 12.10%
Oct-2016 5.44% 12.09%
Nov-2016 5.44% 11.91%
Dec-2016 5.49% 11.88%
Jan-2017 5.56% 11.83%
Feb-2017 5.62% 11.83%
Mar-2017 5.65% 11.68%
Apr-2017 5.63% 11.57%
May-2017 5.61% 11.37%
Jun-2017 5.53% 11.14%
Jul-2017 5.64% 11.22%
Aug-2017 5.52% 11.32%
Sep-2017 5.68% 11.40%
Oct-2017 5.68% 11.36%
Nov-2017 5.60% 11.42%
Dec-2017 5.49% 11.27%
Jan-2018 5.48% 11.31%
Feb-2018 5.33%  11.17%
Mar-2018 5.37% 11.31%
Apr-2018 5.32% 11.34%
May-2018 5.45% 11.69%
Jun-2018 5.50% 11.67%
Jul-2018 5.38% 11.48%
Aug-2018 5.42% 11.24%
Sep-2018 5.36% 10.99%
Oct-2018 5.37% 10.84%
Nov-2018 5.50% 10.87%
Dec-2018 5.70% 10.91%
Jan-2019 5.64% 10.62%
Feb-2019 5.62% 10.58%
Mar-2019 5.57% 10.61%
Apr-2019 5.59% 10.54%
May-2019 5.61% 10.35%
Jun-2019 5.56% 10.35%
Jul-2019 5.80% 10.40%
Aug-2019 5.85% 10.33%
Sep-2019 5.85% 10.35%
Oct-2019 5.74% 10.40%
Nov-2019 5.59% 10.14%
Dec-2019 5.47% 10.16%
Jan-2020 5.49% 10.20%
Feb-2020 5.54% 10.36%
Mar-2020 5.52% 10.11%
Apr-2020 6.60% 11.58%
May-2020 7.40% 12.64%
Jun-2020 8.68% 14.18%
Jul-2020 9.65% 15.66%
Aug-2020 10.19% 16.75%
Sep-2020 10.42% 17.31%
Oct-2020 10.61% 17.62%
Nov-2020 10.85% 18.21%
Dec-2020 11.21% 18.65%
Jan-2021 11.52% 19.17%
Feb-2021 11.87% 19.54%
Mar-2021 12.10% 19.92%
Apr-2021 11.33% 18.70%
May-2021 10.76% 17.92%
Jun-2021 9.79% 16.71%
Jul-2021 8.90% 15.50%
Aug-2021 8.42% 14.58%
Sep-2021 8.17% 13.90%
Oct-2021 8.09% 13.47%
Nov-2021 7.99% 13.06%
Dec-2021 7.60% 12.46%
Jan-2022 7.26% 11.97%
Feb-2022 6.89% 11.44%
Mar-2022 6.70% 11.12%
Apr-2022 6.55% 10.96%
May-2022 6.26% 10.44%
Jun-2022 6.22% 10.33% 
Jul-2022 6.11% 10.09%
Aug-2022 5.89% 9.96%
Sep-2022 5.90% 10.04%
Oct-2022 5.80% 9.98%
Nov-2022 5.77% 9.91%
Dec-2022 5.79% 9.79%
Jan-2023 5.77% 9.67%
Feb-2023 5.74% 9.83%
Mar-2023 5.78% 9.82%
Apr-2023 5.66% 9.81%
May-2023 5.61% 9.85%
Jun-2023 5.39% 9.63%
Jul-2023 5.35% 9.64%
Aug-2023 5.52% 9.72%
Sep-2023 5.58% 9.87%
Oct-2023 5.68% 10.09%
Nov-2023 5.83% 10.25%
Dec-2023 5.81% 10.39%
Jan-2024 5.79% 10.34%
Feb-2024 5.92% 10.30%
Mar-2024 5.99%  10.26% 

Notes: This series is based on 12-month moving averages. The most recent data point uses pooled data from April 2023 through March 2024. Data sample includes only those college graduates ages 21–24 who have not attained an advanced degree and who are not enrolled in further schooling. Shaded areas indicate recessions.

Source: EPI analysis of the Current Population Survey basic monthly microdata, EPI Current Population Survey Extracts, Version 1.0.51 (2024), https://microdata.epi.org

View the underlying data on epi.org.