Fewer U.S. College Grads Are Stuck With $25,000 Entry-Level Jobs

With the 2021 college graduation season in full swing, there is some good news for this year’s class: Their first job’s pay is slightly improving.

The percentage of recent grads who are taking jobs that pay less than $25,000 and don’t require a degree fell to 10.5% in March, the lowest rate since November 2001, according to New York Federal Reserve research.

As the U.S. economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, well-paid entry-level jobs are still not easy to come by, however. The percentage of graduates who hold what the Fed identifies as “good non-college jobs” -- positions with a full-time average annual wage of $45,000 or more -- has been declining in the past 20 years.

Data show that about one-third of all college graduates are in a job that typically doesn’t require a college degree, a rate of underemployment that has remained fairly flat for about three decades now.