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College Degree Is No Guarantee You'll Leave Ranks of Unemployed Quickly

College isn't preventing Americans from becoming long-term unemployed
A college graduation in New York.
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Having a college education is a clear plus in the American job market. High-school drop-outs last year battled an unemployment rate almost three times higher than that for those with at least a bachelor's degree. 

Yet once you're out of work, being better educated barely seems to improve your chances of finding a new job within half a year, a recent analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. Of those ages 25 or older with at least a bachelor's degree who were jobless last year, 37.7 percent were out of work 27 weeks or longer. That compares with 38.3 percent for those who didn't finish high school.