56% Of Recent Black College Graduates Get A Job That Does Not Require A College Degree, CEPR Finds

Tyler Durden's picture

With everyone focused on what is undisputedly the next mega credit bubble in the form of student loans, which in the most recent quarter hit a record high of over $1.1 trillion, the topic of college education, and specifically its utility, has gotten much press coverage over the past month. As we summarized most recently two days ago, the key variables involved when calculating the costs and benefits revolve around whether one uses (generous amounts) of student loans and what area of specialization one picks. But according to a recent report published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research titled "A College Degree is No Guarantee", there is another, perhaps more important variable when it comes to getting the most out of one's college education: race.

As the WSJ reports, "among those with a job in 2013, more than half of black recent college graduates—56%–were in an occupation that typically doesn’t require a college degree, according to a report Tuesday by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a left-leaning Washington think tank."

But while one may be inclined to accuse the authors of pandering or, gasp, racism, the reality is almost just as bad for all races:

Among all recent college grads with a job, the rate still was a very high 45%. (The report defines a recent college grad as someone between the ages of 22 and 27 with a four-year degree.)

The follow through from here is logical: upon graduation some 56% of blacks fall into a state defined as "underemployment", not to be confused with the same term used by the BLS,  "in which college-educated workers aren’t getting high enough salaries to pay off their student debt and achieve a middle-class lifestyle."

An additional variable, although far less important, is experience: "experience makes a difference, with workers further out of school tending to hold better jobs than recent college graduates. Among all employed black college graduates—regardless of when they earned their degree—about 42% were in a job that didn’t require a degree in 2013. Among all employed college graduates regardless of race, the figure was 35%. The weak labor market comes at a time when young college graduates also are carrying higher debt loads than previous generations to cover rising college costs."

The punchline, by the CEPR report's author Janelle Jones (who incidentally is also black, which has no bearing on this topic... which is why we note it):

“Black workers have been told for a generation that the way for you to do better is go to college. These are people who go to college in the face of rising tuition, needing to work to support themselves, not having a family structure. They finish college and then they end up finding a job that job doesn’t end up requiring a degree and pays less than those that do require a degree."

Well, to be honest Janelle, all workers have been told for a generation, and actually much longer than that, that the way to do better is go to college.

So while we appreciate the study's conclusion, which is what we expected, namely that nearly half of college graduates end up in jobs that do not require a college education (and certainly do not pay well enough to repay the student loans) and as such the delinquencies on student loans are guaranteed to skyrocket in the coming years, we are amused by yet another attempt to make this into a black, non-black i.e., "race" issue, although we have a very distinct feeling that when the topic of student loan forgiveness (and its monetization by the Fed) becomes the pressing political issue in a couple of years, along racial lines is precisely just how this latest government hand out will be approached.

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McMolotov's picture

Worthless college degree + shitty job market = rayciss.

Therefore, BTFD and give Barry a third term.

James_Cole's picture


Africa American unemployment rates (~):


less than hs = 15%


High School = 9% 


Some college = 7%


Bachelors + = 5%


Currently overall = 13%




AmCockerSpaniel's picture

This is just headline garbing with out showing a breakdown of the other races.

Joe Davola's picture

Cue Dap screaming WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RevRex's picture

How many jobs require a degree in African Studies or Applied Community Organization?



Scarlett's picture



mjcOH1's picture

Are integrated circuit design, organic chemistry, and finite element analysis courses no longer required for a Black Studies BA?

Antifaschistische's picture

how many of those who received a job, did so solely because of their skin pigmentation?

Go ahead....down arrow me.  I don't care.   We both know it's true.

James_Cole's picture

Don't worry, no one on zh will downvote you for whining about black people. Calling you on it, on the other hand..

observer007's picture

Chinese central banker: "Renminbi will become reserve currency"


So What's picture

That means war.

But what does the Rnminbi have to do with pathetic fate of the black people in the USSA despite having a black/Jewish president?

Wait I got it. War means more jobs for black people, especially when it comes to filling up body bags.

Moe Howard's picture

74% of the US Soldier deaths in Iraq were white. 72.4% of the USA population is white. Over represented.

9.49% were black. 12.6% of the USA population is black. Under represented.

10.72% were "Latino" or "Hispanic". 16.4% of the USA population is "Latino" or "Hispanic". Under represented.

1.85% were "Asian". 4.8% of the USA population is "Asian". Under represented.


Your theory is bullshit about war and black people. Minorities are under represented in filling body bags as a group, and blacks in particular.


Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

Draft more Asians to fill in the 3% gap for services! Those lazy Asians and

I think I just deflected our current topic to Asians.

On the other hand what's the tax contribution rate by race? Percentage wise..

Joe Davola's picture

Is the same government that wants to give you a student loan the same one that produced those statistics?

disabledvet's picture

Yeah, no shit. "Pay me moar" should be the real title. The whole system is so corrupt there is no "buying it off." Once these prices moonshot (a billion dolares for a single fighter jet that doesn't fly...or a single helicopter that won't work either?) then "the sheeple" will be sufficiently cued in.

They've already stopped ("don't encourage them!") voting.

RiverRoad's picture

Someone famous once said, "The poor we have always with us."  He was onto something.

babylon15's picture

less than hs: free

high school: free

some college: negative $8,000

bachelors+: negative $40,000


College is not free.  Basically you have to weigh the 4% reduction in unemployment rate with the $40,000 it costs you to go to college.  On top of that, you have to weight the probability your ultimate job won't require a college degree, which at 56%, is a pretty likely scenario.


So it's a gamble.  You're betting $40,000 at 6.8% interest on a 44% chance that you will get a job upgrade.  The reduction in unemploment is practically negligible because those are already bad odds.

James_Cole's picture

You're betting $40,000 at 6.8% interest on a 44% chance that you will get a job upgrade.

A 44% increase you'll go from unemployed to employed? Sounds like a damn good gamble! Simply put, the probability you will not be able to find work w/ degree is very low. 


On top of that, you have to weight the probability your ultimate job won't require a college degree, which at 56%, is a pretty likely scenario.

This is very tenuous, many jobs may not 'require' a degree in theory only. They also specify 'recent' which is another can of worms. 


Things that go bump's picture

Yes, but its a bargain at the price. Where else can you get 4 years of extended adolescense without your mother's house rules.  

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

My Dads house with the my new step mom who was twenty years younger. Damn those who were some fun days.

Zirpedge's picture

We need to declare McWar on racism. I think there alot of racists in here...reeks of stormfront. Tip of the Iceberg i suspect.

l8apex's picture

Can somebody translate this into English for me?

drendebe10's picture

Standing round of ovation for the corrupt, arrogant narcissistic illegal indonesian kenyan muslin sociopathic ignoramus liar in chief only interested in its grand imperial golf life style rather than helping the black obtain gainful employment.  It would rather keep them enslaved with EBT cards and free sh*t..... 

Liar in chief has about as much in common with American blacks as white people do with polar bears.....

It's too bad all the people who vote, vote blindly without looking at outcomes...  that's why the incumbents were over whelmingly reelected in yesterday's election... sheeple sticking their head deeper into the sand so their butts will stick out more to be repeatedly cornholed by the corrupt ruling political elite turds they reelected.... ain't it grand...

Rainman's picture

yup.... and the OJT buttcrack plumbers are out there kickin ass

foodstampbarry's picture

Fuck em, they voted for skin color. I feel no pity.

CognacAndMencken's picture

Blacks only comprise ~13% of the US population. Whites are ~77%.

If 100% of all blacks voted for Obama solely because of pigmentation, it would never outweigh the number of whites who voted AGAINST Obama solely because of his color.

Think about it.... The entire American South are backwater racist hillbillies - that number alone is far more than the entire US black population. The Tea Party, the NRA, the entire state of Texas and Kentucky.... All of them voted AGAINST Obama because of his skin color.

Now, I understand that this will probably anger many of the conservative Right-wingers around here, so I'll end with something that ya'll can rally with: FUCK THE AMERICAN WORKER! LONG-LIVE CORPORATE INTERESTS! Jesus loves you! Health insurance leads to communism!

Moe Howard's picture

So only race is the determining factor in the south? Are you insane?

Maybe they don't love socialism? Can't be a factor?

Maybe they don't want a President who had a British Subject as his father?

I could go on, your small mind couldn't possibly grasp reality.


Zerozen's picture

I wonder what that number is for Asian college graduates? I'm willing to bet that it's low.

I bet they didn't factor the degree major into this analysis. What you study is what counts. $10 says that black students in STEM (solidly employable) programs are almost non existent.


Mad_max's picture

1% black student at caltech

40% asian.


HBD or Waaaaaaacissssssmmmm!!

Larry Dallas's picture

You don't need a degree to play beat down on the streets.

Or to be an "aspiring" rap star.

Or to be a father of many children with as many mothers.

Or to collect SNAP.

There you go. Junk away, pirates!  

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Not all African Americans are low lifes. While I was in the military I met hundreds of African American men and women who were stand up people, responsible, kind, honest, and much better human beings than most of my relatives.

And of the non-com's most had degrees.

moonshadow's picture

so how did you interpret comments above to be that blacks were thought to be 'low lifes'?? however i guess if i put that comment together with the one you made previously about your stepmom then perhaps someone should be considered a lowlife...

mercy's picture

I know a black guy who graduated with a degree in Agricultural engineering.  He now works in a Teavana.


I am black and I am majoring in Electrical Engineering.  You best believe that I can't stand this system and the only thing keeping me in "school" is the fact that I have a year left.


With that said, I do try to make the best of my time in "school" and I know full well that even at legitimate "schools", you get out what you put in- at best.  Sadly, many of these dumbfuck cash cows, er students, are hopeless. Even worse, they believe in magic.  That is, if you do nothing and just get by, after 4/5/6 years, you will become an engineer.  As for the professors, they constantly reinforce the notion that if you do your time in "school", then a job will be waiting for you at the end of the road.  It's all quite sickening really. Though I never let myself fall into the coddling trap. 

Moe Howard's picture

Good luck. I know a guy who graduated with a Master's in Electrical Engineering, after about 10 months unemployed, he got a job repairing Kindles. Now, 5 years later, he is in a entry level position at GE. I don't know how many years he will have to work to break even [education cost-wise]. He's white if that makes any dif.

Cacete de Ouro's picture

Where does that leave my online bachelors degree in Pickup Artist studies from the South Carolinas College of Charleston?

I'm only in my first year and now I think I'm truly fucked and will be in debt for like 20 years or more.

goldhedge's picture

Don't worry you will have plenty of time working your debt off at the local FEMA camp.


NihilistZero's picture

I was confused at first.  Did they mean "black" college graduates or "Black College" graduates?  Am I racist for having the thought?

Zirpedge's picture

I graduated with a degree in fine art from a "Black College". My Step game is on point as are my instincts are honed for a Call and Respond musical rhythm. I figure the menial job offers I get only reflect my background with group cohesion getting an order straight the first time.

My art is good but what passes for art these days was corrupted a long time ago by the Rockefellers and their "Modern Art". "Modern Art" is crap and yes you could paint that Jackson Pollock or Rothko.

Art is just a wrapper for laundering money. For example: The cash flow works in reverse. A greek shippin magnate sells a Cezanne's Card Players for $300million and really get the rights to ship Lybian oil from The Quatar royal family who commited the military resources to overthrow Gadaffi. He doens't recieve $300M in a wire transfer, he really bought the exclusive rights to ship all that crude and Qatar gets the "Art" and a $300M credit in their bank account because it is an "asset". http://www.abeldanger.net/2014/05/cia-laundering-money-through-inflated....

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

I wonder how committed the "Historically Black Colleges" are to diversity? Do they seek out students of other races so as to have a culture of inclusion? Or is it just fine that they do not?

Make_Mine_A_Double's picture

A degree means nothing from these 'colleges. The are unfortunately filled with victimology and unmarketable bullshit.

And they end up as baristas at Starfucks where they cannot even count small change.

But it's a wash since ObOzO will waive all the student loans sometime soon.


QQQBall's picture

I do not see many black baristas. I think SBUX knows they rarely wash their hands.

The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

College graduates should form a big union and then, according to many Zero Hedge readers, they can live the good life like they do in Detroit now!!!

Zerozen's picture

I had a dream last night that I bought a few dozen city blocks in Detroit, razed everything, and turned the land into a medieval-style hunting ground wilderness (bears, wolves, deer, the works) with an awesome castle in the middle of it all. The castle was called the Citadel of Badassitude.

esum's picture

look at what is in the white house ..... a commie muslim any busines making major capex in the ussa had better have a sanity check... and obumbler care has not kicked in fully... you wanted change ... you got it....   personally ill keep my guns, religion and money..... YOU  keep the change

Dead Man Walking's picture

this is true of ALL COLLEGE GRADS.  There are no jobs for recent college grads.  Even engineers are having a hard time finding jobs in NJ.

I believe it's probably easier for a black graduate to find a job than a white male.  Reverse discrim.

Ballin D's picture

Agreed with that last bit.  Heres an experiment we can all try.  Visit the linkedin page of a young black woman and take a look at the 'viewers of this profile also viewed..." field. They're all black women?? but that would mean people are specifically hunting for candidates by race!


Racism is real.