Cap, Gown and Resume: Tough Times for Grads

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A sobering report in today's New York Times gives the class of 2011 little to cheer. Simply put, employment rates for new college graduates have fallen sharply in the last two years, as have starting salaries for those who can find work. In addition, only half of the jobs landed by grads even require a college degree.

According to a study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, the median starting salary for students graduating from four-year colleges in 2009 and 2010 was $27,000, down from $30,000 for those who entered the work force in 2006 to 2008, a decline of 10 percent.

The Times did its own analysis, finding that the number of college graduates aged 25 to 34 employed in food service, restaurants and bars had risen 17 percent in 2009 from 2008.