HBCU graduates are apparently bucking a trend set by the current economic downturn according to a new data study done by LinkedIn, the professional social media platform.
The findings of the study reveal Black College graduate hiring rate climbed an average of 5.9 percent per year from 2016 through 2019 when the job market was stronger. Then 2020 hit, and the coronavirus pandemic raised unemployment overall and plunged the country into a recession. However, HBCU grads lost jobs at a slower pace than the general population, according to the study.
The hiring rate for HBCU grads showed a slower decline at 11.9 percent than for U.S. LinkedIn members, which was 16.2 percent. About 176 million people in the United States are on the platform.
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Data from the study, which is part of LinkedIn’s Conversations for Change series, which discusses the paths being taken by Black professionals in America also shows two primary sectors where HBCU grads are found at higher rates. In Education, 16 percent, as tracked by LinkedIn compared to 12 percent for overall U.S. members of the platform. In public administration, the data showed 6.3 percent compared to 3.2 percent overall.
But there was also an underrepresentation of HBCU grads in software and information technology, 6.2% for HBCUs vs. 8.5% for all U.S. membership. Also in finance at 7.4 percent compared to 9.5 percent, and in manufacturing, which was 5.6 percent compared to 7.3 percent.
Outside of HBCU grads, Black workers are overall still mired in the slow economic recovery. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures released last week showed with a 6.3 percent unemployment rate in January, the figure for Blacks is 9.2 percent.
But Blacks who hold Bachelor’s degrees or higher still fared better than the overall average for the demographic at 6.3 percent unemployment, according to Forbes.