We have heard the stories over and over. College graduates are working in minimum wage jobs. Many are waiting tables or working menial jobs for menial pay. To be sure, your prospects are even worse if you only have a high school diploma. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for high school grads age 20 to 24 with no college under their belts was 17.9% in 2012, compared to 7.7% for those with college degrees. But it is still rough out there for college grads and to top off that, they are dealing with student debt. Those who graduated in 2011 are carrying an average of $26,000 in debt. That is up from the previous year. According to a 2012 study by the Economic Policy Institute, the hourly wage for new college grads fell over the last decade by 11% for men, to $21.68 and 6.7% for women, to $18.80.
With this in mind, where does a new college graduate head if they hope to put their new degree to use? A new ranking from Rent.com, a rental housing listing site, looks at the top markets with the most rental listings, and then compares figures for unemployment, cost of living and annual mean wages. Atlanta, Georgia ranks in the top ten. The mean annual income is $46,000. The unemployment rate is 8.4%. Boston, Massachusetts is another good city for jobs for recent college graduates. The mean annual income is $57,500 and the unemployment rate is 5.9%. Houston, Texas has a mean annual income of $47,500 with 6% unemployment. Denver, Colorado has a mean annual income of $50, 300 with an unemployment rate of 7.4%. Dallas has a mean annual income of $46,200 with an employment rate of 5.9%. St. Louis, Missouri has a mean annual income of $44,200 with unemployment of 7%.
To seize your opportunities and navigate a career in this new borderless world, you have to be prepared to pick up stakes for your job. Depending upon where Mom and Dad live, you might need to move to get that critical first job. Put some serious thought into where you go when you do go. The place you choose to start your career is key to your economic future. Jobs no longer last forever. In fact, the average twenty-something switches jobs every year. Places can provide the vibrant, thick labor market that can get you that next job and the one after that and be your hedge against layoffs during this economic downturn.
Source: Adams, Susan. “The Best Cities For New College Grads In 2013.” www.Forbes.com Forbes Magazine, 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 21 July 2013.