Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Metro Advantages

The larger the metro, the more likely college graduates are to land a job that makes use of their degree and college major. This is the unsurprising finding of a Liberty Street Economics analysis of the skills match between college graduates and jobs.

Among employed Americans with a bachelor's degree in 2010, 62 percent had a job that required a college degree and 27 percent had a job that matched their college major, according to the researchers. (Both numbers are remarkably low, but that's another story.) The bigger the metro, the better the match between education and job--although the improvement is not all that impressive. As metropolitan size rises from the 50th to the 99.9th percentile (think Syracuse versus New York), the percentage of employed college graduates with a job that requires a college degree increases from 61.1 to 64.5 percent. The probability that college graduates will work in jobs related to their college major rises from 26.7 to 29.1 percent.

If the comparison had been between college graduates in metro versus nonmetro areas, it's likely the differences would be more impressive. The emptying out of the nation's nonmetropolitan counties over the past few years (see post here) is evidence that college graduates in nonmetro areas are seeking better opportunities elsewhere.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Liberty Street Economics, Do Big Cities Help College Graduates Find Better Jobs? 

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