Chasing The American Dream Report

Americans’ Attitudes About Work, Employer, And Government” Report

Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession”

A 2006 – 2011 survey of graduates from four-year universities and colleges documenting the difficulties graduates in that generation encountered as they entered a turbulent labor market during a recession.

Notable Takeaways:

  1. College graduates who got their degrees between 2006 and 2011, only about half had a full time job, and of those with any job, half said their job didn’t require a degree

  2. 40 percent of the participants had delayed making a major purchase, like a home or car, because of college debt, while slightly more than a quarter had put off continuing their education or had moved in with relatives to save money.

  3. The average starting salary for recent college graduates has plunged 10 percent to $27,000 per year since March 2012

  4. 75 percent of recent high school graduates who don’t plan to attend college full-time don’t have a full-time job

  5. The median recent college graduate makes $32,000 per year

  6. Many recent college grads are pessimistic about their long-term career and financial prospects