The Permanent Detour: Underemployment’s Long-Term Effects on the Careers of College Grads

It is not uncommon that a graduate's first job out of college is below his or her level of education. Many people view these jobs as "placeholders" until they can obtain a job that aligns with their level of education, but taking a job that results in underemployment can have long-term consequences. This report from Strada Institute for the Future of Work and Burning Glass Technologies analyzes job postings and resumes to determine the impact of underemployment on workers. The report finds that workers who start out underemployed tend to stay underemployed and, on average, earn 27 percent less than fully employed graduates. The report finds that major, gender and occupation influence the likelihood of being underemployed.

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May 2018