The unemployment rate for college graduates improved slightly in October, dropping to 4.7 percent from a peak of 4.9 percent in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The decline is the first reversal of rising unemployment for the sector since September 2008.
The improving numbers for college graduates (even as the rate of unemployment for all U.S. workers rose in October to 10.2 percent) was another sign that the recession has been harder on certain sectors of the workforce than others, said an economist who spoke to CNNMoney.
The rise in unemployment was not spread evenly across the population. For those with college degrees, the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% from 4.9% in September, as the unemployment rate for those in management, professional, and related occupations slipped to 4.7% from 5.2%.
But the unemployment rate for production jobs, such as factory workers, jumped to 14.5% from 14.1%. The jobless rate for workers in construction, maintenance or natural resources industries such as mining rose to 15.5% from 14.3%.
“There’s a real mismatch between the unemployed people out there compared to what job openings are available,” said John Silvia, chief economist with Wells Fargo Securities. He said construction workers who lost a job when the housing bubble burst don’t have the skills to compete for jobs in sectors that are hiring, such as health care and technology.
Unemployment for recent MBA graduates reached 16.5 percent, according to a survey by BusinessWeek.
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