Congratulations, class of 2013! Welcome to the real world, where unemployment is high and wages are low.
For the fifth year in a row, high unemployment rates and depressed wages await college grads, who are leaving campus, on average, with $26,000 in student loan debt, according to a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.
Many students go to college with the idea that “they will be able to get a high quality job to pay off their student debt, but that idea is broken at a time like this,” EPI economist and co-author of the report, Heidi Shierholz said.
Currently, the unemployment rate among young college grads is 8.8 percent. That’s down from 10.4 percent in 2010, but still much higher than the pre-recession level of 5.7 percent in 2007. To make matters worse, many of the college grads that do score full-time jobs are earning less than they would in a healthy job market. According to the EPI, college grads are earning about $3,200 less a year than they were in 2000. Their pay fell by 7.6 percent in the last six years alone.