These post-recession years have not been gentle on young college grads, and by now, you’ve heard plenty of stories about students matriculating from campus to life as a barista. But how many B.A.’s are really out there toiling in dead-end jobs? A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York offers us an answer this week, which I think can be summed up as: Fewer than you probably think, but definitely more than we’re used to.
Using Census data, the bank’s researchers found that, through 2012, roughly 44 percent of working, young college graduates were “underemployed,” meaning they were in a job that did not require their degree. While the number sounds pretty daunting, it’s not actually without precedent. It’s about the same rate as in 1994.