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April Unemployment Numbers More of the Same

April Unemployment Numbers More of the Same

By Lauren Bayne Anderson

May 06, 2011

The official unemployment rate rose slightly in April to 9 percent, due to a 200,000 person drop in the number of employed Americans.

But according to PBS’s comprehensive number of the un- and underemployed (U-7) the number rose to nearly 18 percent.

Even more depressing, last month’s unemployment insurance claims shot up dramatically, numbers PBS says are more recent data than the most official numbers posted here.

In contrast, the Payroll Survey reports that firms added a quarter of a million new jobs. And the number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more fell slightly.

So what’s all this mean? In short: there hasn’t been much change.

The nation’s jobless number has been hovering around 9% for the past few months, with small changes up and down.

For recent grads, there’s good news and bad news:

The Good News

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), companies plan to hire 19.3% more recent graduates this year than they did in 2010. Employers seem to be most interested in hiring graduates with backgrounds in engineering, computer science, accounting and business degrees. What’s more, job seekers will have less competition than 2010— literally almost half as many. In 2011, the typical employer will have 21.1 applicants vying for a job, compared with 40.5 last year, NACE says. And finally, the average salary offer is expected to be up 5.9% over last year, to an average of $50,462, from $47,673 last year.

And…The Bad News

According to an Adecco Staffing US survey of 500 young professionals:

  • 53% of recent graduates have never received even a single full-time job offer
  • Only 57% of recent college graduates are working full time
  • 43% of recent graduates who do have a full-time job are working in positions that don’t require a four-year degree
  • 19% of all undergraduates could land only temporary work within six months of graduation.


For more info, see The State of the Workforce for Grads.

Information compiled from PBS.org, walletpop, and other sources.