Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

States with the highest number of college graduates living in poverty

  • States with the highest number of college graduates living in poverty
    1/ Goodfreephotos_com // Pixabay

    States with the highest number of college graduates living in poverty

    The NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson once said, “Many professors tell you that you'd be good at this or that, but they don't always help you with that career path.” While there is a common perception that a college degree guarantees a good job, that is not always the case. Sometimes, luck, locale, and connections play roles as large as education. This puts graduates in difficult positions: Most entry-level jobs now require a college degree of some sort, but mounting student-loan debt and a dizzying amount of variables by location, access, and fluctuating markets mean jobs—especially those with decent wages—are never guaranteed.

    And yet, it's hard to overstate the college experience as a whole. There is certainly more to college than a degree; and the exposure college students get to other cultures, lifestyles, and real-world work scenarios (not to mention college being the first time many young adults experience living on their own) is invaluable. For those pursuing degrees to further their careers, choosing the right college can represent a huge push in the right direction for landing that dream job or getting into a top-notch graduate program. Which is why college enrollment continues to climb: Almost 70% of high school graduates in 2016 enrolled in college that same year. Yet while the graduating college class of 2018 experienced the lowest level of unemployment in 17 years and higher starting salaries, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that 1.3% fewer employees were hired compared with the class of 2017. This represents the first such decline since 2010.

    Many college graduates face a familiar situation. Unable to get a position that utilizes their degrees, they settle for low-paying, unskilled jobs to pay the bills. With nearly 43% of all college graduates underemployed according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, many find it difficult to break out of the cycle of subpar jobs.

    More disturbing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, is that 4.5% of all college graduates ages 25 years or older live at or below the national poverty rate. While this is significantly below the poverty rate for all workers 25 years or older, the unemployment rate of 3.1% for these college graduates—compared with the 5.0% national average—reflects that the return-on-investment for a college education may be less than what is generally expected.

    Stacker has looked at the census data for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, to determine which states have the highest percentage of college graduates living in poverty. For this article, we are using the national poverty threshold for a single individual in 2018: $12,488. The median income of college graduates age 25+ was $52,019 in 2018, compared with $37,913 for the general age 25+ working population. Keep reading to learn how one state, recognized as having a city with the best employment opportunities for college graduates, also has one of the highest college graduate poverty rates.

    You may also like: College majors with the lowest unemployment

     

     

  • #51. Alaska
    2/ Pixabay

    #51. Alaska

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 2.7% (1.8% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.0% (3.5% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 3,801 (4.4% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.5% (0.6% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.9% (0.9% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $54,997 (5.7% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $44,870 (18.3% higher than the national average)

    Alaska ranks worst by WalletHub for employment opportunities for college graduates. It has high levels of unemployment and underemployment per capita for new college graduates aged 25 to 35. However, Alaska's small working population and relatively high percentage of specialty jobs—such as oil rigging and commercial fishing—help to create high-paying seasonal opportunities.

  • #50. New Hampshire
    3/ chucksink // Pixabay

    #50. New Hampshire

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.1% (1.4% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 6.6% (4.9% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 10,927 (5.0% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.2% (0.9% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 3.6% (1.4% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $53,475 (2.8% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $43,011 (13.4% higher than the national average)

    New Hampshire, another low-population state, benefits from its proximity to Massachusetts, which is WalletHub's second-best state for new-graduate job opportunities. With the state's labor force growth at less than 1% since 2010, companies are forced to compete for skilled employees, significantly raising average wages for college graduates.

  • #49. Minnesota
    4/ noah210 // Pixabay

    #49. Minnesota

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.1% (1.4% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.0% (3.5% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 40,604 (4.6% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.1% (1.0% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 3.4% (1.7% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $53,925 (3.7% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $41,827 (10.3% higher than the national average)

    The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area is in the middle of a decades-long job market explosion that is making Minnesota the employment hotspot of the Midwest. While this has driven housing costs in the metro area to among the highest in the nation and triggered a housing shortage, the presence of corporate headquarters such as Pillsbury, Best Buy, Target, 3M, and UnitedHealth Group helps to keep Minnesota attractive to new graduates.

  • #48. Maryland
    5/ BruceEmmerling // Pixabay

    #48. Maryland

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.2% (1.3% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 7.9% (3.6% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 52,098 (5.9% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.8% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.8% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $61,631 (18.5% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $48,921 (29.0% higher than the national average)

    A “bedroom community” of Washington D.C., Maryland is among the top seven states for job growth. The home of Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland is rich with both public- and private-sector jobs, as well as military contractor opportunities. With consumer confidence high in the state, business investments are expected to grow in future years.

  • #47. North Dakota
    6/ Pixabay

    #47. North Dakota

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.3% (1.2% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.2% (3.3% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 6,675 (6.2% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 1.1% (2.0% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 2.0% (3.0% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $46,945 (9.8% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $40,694 (7.3% higher than the national average)

    The discovery of oil at the Parshall Oil Field in 2006 changed North Dakota. Since then, oil extraction from the Bakken formation has driven its economy. Not only have the oil jobs led to the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, but they help to absorb the unemployed populations from neighboring states like Minnesota and South Dakota.

  • #46. Virginia
    7/ ggarnhart // Pixabay

    #46. Virginia

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.3% (1.2% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.7% (2.8% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 68,351 (5.4% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.6% (0.5% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.0% (1.0% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $57,226 (10.0% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $42,539 (12.2% higher than the national average)

    Washington D.C.'s other “bedroom community,” Virginia, benefits from its northern sector's wealth of private, public, and military-sectors jobs. The 10th-best state for college graduate job opportunities, Virginia has low unemployment rates and significant business development.

  • #45. Nebraska
    8/ Napa // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Nebraska

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.3% (1.2% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.8% (2.7% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 12,347 (4.7% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 1.4% (1.7% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 2.5% (2.6% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $46,835 (10.0% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $36,938 (2.6% lower than the national average)

    Nebraska is another state with jobs it cannot fill. Even though Omaha has expanded its job market in recent years, the state's population has not kept pace. This has created open competition among employers to hire the most qualified graduates. For graduates moving to the Omaha area, this is great news: They can expect high wages and aggressive hiring. While the same cannot be said for the rest of the state, the low unemployment of the state's largest city makes up for the deficit.

  • #44. Connecticut
    9/ Pixabay

    #44. Connecticut

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.4% (1.1% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.3% (3.2% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 33,986 (6.4% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.3% (0.2% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.8% (0.8% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $61,933 (19.1% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $47,382 (25.0% higher than the national average)

    Several states can rightfully be called “suburbs” of New York City, since they largely sit in the New York metropolitan area. Connecticut is one of them. With a moderately lower cost of living than New York City, plus more affordable real estate, Connecticut offers lower business operation costs and ready access to the city's resources and markets. This makes the state a great setting for business growth. Connecticut gets low scores for job satisfaction, however, which may explain why it did not rank higher.

  • #43. Delaware
    10/ National Park Service

    #43. Delaware

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.4% (1.1% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 9.5% (2.0% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 8,910 (7.3% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.9% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.2% (0.2% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $53,958 (3.7% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $40,954 (8.0% higher than the national average)

    While Delaware saw its unemployment rate rise in recent years, the number of highly skilled jobs in the state has also risen. Its financial sector has seen sustained growth, along with its health care companies. Delaware's positioning as the nation's banking center has helped to keep it attractive to new economics and finance graduates, but those outside these fields may have a harder time finding a job.

  • #42. New Jersey
    11/ Pixabay

    #42. New Jersey

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.5% (1.0% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.8% (2.7% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 83,597 (5.5% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.7% (0.6% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.9% (0.8% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $62,600 (20.3% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $47,377 (25.0% higher than the national average)

    Another “suburb” state, New Jersey is part of the metropolitan areas of New York City and Philadelphia. The state has seen consecutive months of job growth, creating a competitive hiring environment for employers. The addition of two new casinos in Atlantic City and new Amazon warehouses have contributed to job growth.

  • #41. Kansas
    12/ Pixabay

    #41. Kansas

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.5% (1.0% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 9.5% (2.0% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 22,444 (5.6% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.0% (1.1% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 3.3% (1.7% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $47,667 (8.4% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $37,188 (1.9% lower than the national average)

    Kansas has seen a record string of job growth months. With more than 30 months of declining unemployment numbers, Kansas' major cities all have seen job increases. Manufacturing and construction are expected to see the largest growth, followed by new business development, general aviation manufacturing, and new residence building.

  • #40. Iowa
    13/ Pixabay

    #40. Iowa

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.6% (0.9% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.8% (2.7% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 23,129 (5.7% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 1.5% (1.6% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 3.0% (2.1% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $49,094 (5.6% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $37,556 (0.9% lower than the national average)

    Iowa is experiencing full employment. As of July 2018, 98 to 99 out of every 100 Iowans looking for a job are employed. This is creating a situation where employers are desperate for educated workers, which is creating higher wages, better benefits, and better working conditions. Additionally, the situation has forced Iowa employers to offer training and to recruit from population segments they would not have considered before.

  • #39. Wisconsin
    14/ Pixabay

    #39. Wisconsin

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.7% (0.8% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 9.1% (2.4% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 44,089 (5.6% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.0% (1.1% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 3.7% (1.4% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $50,081 (3.7% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $38,321 (1.1% higher than the national average)

    Wisconsin's job growth has been anemic. Coming in #42 among states for job growth, the state only saw 1.2% growth from Oct. 2017 to Oct. 2018. Despite this, Wisconsin celebrates an unemployment rate below the national average and healthy growth in the manufacturing sector. Southwestern Wisconsin also benefits from the robust job market in neighboring Minnesota and Iowa. This is leading to a competitive hiring situation for Wisconsin's employers.

  • #38. Wyoming
    15/ Pixabay

    #38. Wyoming

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.9% (0.6% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.5% (3.0% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 5,007 (7.4% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 1.8% (1.3% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.0% (1.0% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $47,697 (8.3% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $38,726 (2.1% higher than the national average)

    Wyoming is experiencing a job-growth spree in several industries, including mining, oil and gas, health and social services, manufacturing, and technical services. This is occurring during job contractions in the public sector and in retail trade.

  • #37. Ohio
    16/ Pixabay

    #37. Ohio

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 3.9% (0.6% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 11.5% (the same as the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 84,524 (6.1% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.4% (0.7% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.8% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $51,083 (1.8% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $36,831 (2.9% lower than the national average)

    Ohio has marginally increased its job base over the national average, dropping below the national unemployment rate. Despite largely being situated in the Rust Belt, the state saw increases in manufacturing and goods-producing industries. Its declining population, while a negative, has worked to make hiring more competitive among employers.

  • #36. Pennsylvania
    17/ Pixabay

    #36. Pennsylvania

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.0% (0.5% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 10.3% (1.2% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 106,160 (6.3% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.8% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.9% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $51,678 (0.7% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $39,530 (4.3% higher than the national average)

    Another Rust Belt state, Pennsylvania has struggled with job growth in the past. The commonwealth has been weak in job growth from 2012 to 2017 when compared with the national average and other states. However, manufacturing jobs have recovered, improving job growth numbers. This, coupled with population shrinkage, has helped to reverse some of the state's growth numbers.

  • #35. South Dakota
    18/ Pixabay

    #35. South Dakota

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.1% (0.4% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 10.4% (1.1% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 5,828 (5.3% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 1.1% (2.0% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 2.7% (2.3% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $42,085 (19.1% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $35,185 (7.2% lower than the national average)

    While the 10-year projection for South Dakota shows lower job growth than the U.S. in general, a low unemployment rate and no income tax makes the state attractive for new graduates. South Dakota is a hub for finance and banking, presenting opportunities for economics and business majors.

  • #34. Rhode Island
    19/ JJBers // Flickr

    #34. Rhode Island

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.1% (0.4% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 10.6% (0.9% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 9,140 (6.1% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.9% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.8% (0.7% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $53,036 (2.0% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $41,552 (9.6% higher than the national average)

    Rhode Island is the smallest state by area, but its close proximity to Boston makes it an attractive alternative to those employed in Massachusetts. While income growth is predicted to be sluggish in coming years, job growth is expected to be faster than usual.

  • #33. Indiana
    20/ Pixabay

    #33. Indiana

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.1% (0.4% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 11.0% (0.5% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 49,306 (6.5% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.3% (0.8% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.4% (0.7% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $47,950 (7.8% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $36,038 (4.9% lower than the national average)

    Ranking #32 in job opportunities for new graduates, Indiana seemingly does not offer much to a recent college graduate. Indiana job news—as of late—seems to center on how the failure of the Carrier deal, which Donald Trump and Mike Pence helped negotiate, reflects the state of manufacturing jobs in the state. Despite this, the state is expected to show economic growth, which would fuel capital investment and stabilize unemployment numbers.

  • #32. Massachusetts
    21/ Pixabay

    #32. Massachusetts

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.2% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 9.2% (2.3% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 87,170 (7.6% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.0% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.8% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $60,715 (16.7% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $48,229 (27.2% higher than the national average)

    While Boston remains one of the hottest spots for college graduates looking for a job, the rest of the state is not so lucky. With the Commonwealth's productivity shrinking compared with the national average and the labor force size in decline, Massachusetts is looking for a way to move to a post-baby boomer phase.

  • #31. Maine
    22/ Pixabay

    #31. Maine

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.2% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 10.9% (0.6% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 11,480 (5.9% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.0% (1.1% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.5% (0.6% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $42,761 (17.8% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $35,007 (7.7% lower than the national average)

    The #1 state for jobs for college graduates, Maine's situation is complicated: the state projects that there will be fewer than 100 net jobs created between 2016 and 2026. However, southern Maine's proximity to Boston and eastern New Hampshire make the region an ideal bedroom community. The rest of the state, however, may be more unfriendly for skilled workers.

  • #30. Missouri
    23/ Pixabay

    #30. Missouri

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.2% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 11.4% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 46,970 (6.3% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.3% (0.8% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.3% (0.7% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $46,434 (10.7% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $35,641 (6.0% lower than the national average)

    While Missouri ranks high on the list of job opportunities for new graduates, thy are limited to the metropolitan areas. Non-farm occupations outside the state's major cities show growth of less than 1%. However, if you are willing to stick to the big cities, Missouri has job growth on par with or slightly exceeding the national average.

  • #29. Texas
    24/ Pixabay

    #29. Texas

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.2% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 12.1% (0.6% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 221,446 (6.3% of college grads) 
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.9% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.4% (0.6% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $53,444 (2.7% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $36,977 (2.5% lower than the national average)

    It's true that Texas leads the country in job creation, but most jobs are low-paying service and retail positions. Worse, this job growth is expected to slow to between 0.9 and 1.9%, down from 2.4% in 2018. With population growth on track, there could be a job shortage.

  • #28. North Carolina
    25/ Pixabay

    #28. North Carolina

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.2% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 12.6% (1.1% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 84,270 (6.0% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.0% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.3% (0.3% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $47,258 (9.2% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $34,789 (8.2% lower than the national average)

    The number of employees working in North Carolina has hit a record high. However, with an unemployment rate slightly above the national rate, there is still room to improve. The rate of unemployed college graduates is marginally below the national rate, partially due to the rapid growth of the Raleigh-Durham area.

  • #27. Colorado
    26/ Pixabay

    #27. Colorado

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.3% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.9% (2.6% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 66,873 (6.7% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.9% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.1% (0.9% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $51,093 (1.8% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $41,008 (8.2% higher than the national average)

    Colorado is in a tight economy, where there may not be enough available employees to sustain further job growth. Low oil prices are also undermining Colorado's economic health, slowing state infrastructure projects. However, the state has higher-than-average wages and lower-than-average unemployment rates.

  • #26. Washington
    27/ Pixabay

    #26. Washington

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.3% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 9.8% (1.7% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 73,718 (6.5% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.0% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.5% (0.5% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $57,143 (9.9% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $42,114 (11.1% higher than the national average)

    In the middle of the pack is Washington. It is expecting consistent job growth statewide and has a healthy marketplace in Seattle. The largest increases in jobs are expected in the tech, online retail, and professional services industries. Growth, however, is largely concentrated in King County.

  • #25. Oklahoma
    28/ Pixabay

    #25. Oklahoma

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.3% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 12.5% (1.0% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 25,478 (5.8% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.0% (1.1% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.0% (1.0% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $44,568 (14.3% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $34,482 (9.0% lower than the national average)

    With employment prospects tied to oil, Oklahoma's declining per-barrel prices have created a bit of an employment crunch in the Sooner State. A lack of job diversity is hurting job growth numbers, too, making the state unattractive to anyone working in industries outside of oil and gas. Low personal income and a weak educational system do not help.

  • #24. South Carolina
    29/ Pixabay

    #24. South Carolina

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.3% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 12.9% (1.4% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 42,077 (6.9% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.7% (0.4% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.2% (0.1% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $45,757 (12.0% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $33,097 (12.7% lower than the national average)

    South Carolina is a nice place to live. With warm weather and pleasant beaches, it is a slice of the genteel South. It is also a hard place to run a business. With low unemployment, businesses are finding that the state's economy cannot sustain any more job growth. In Charleston, the unemployment rate has reached as low as 2.3%. That means that a highly qualified college graduate moving to the state should expect a high-paying job with little effort.

  • #23. Tennessee
    30/ Pixabay

    #23. Tennessee

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.3% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 13.0% (1.5% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 51,714 (6.5% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.7% (0.4% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.9% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $46,024 (11.5% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $34,034 (10.2% lower than the national average)

    While some Tennessee cities, like Knoxville, remains hot for new college graduates, others are looking less spectacular. From 2016 to 2017, Nashville had the highest job growth of any American city with a population exceeding 1 million. From 2017 to 2018, job growth grew by 2%. During the same period, the influx of new residents declined, leaving many high-skilled positions open.

  • #22. Utah
    31/ Pixabay

    #22. Utah

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.4% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 8.2% (3.3% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 27,308 (6.6% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.0% (1.1% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 3.0% (2.1% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $47,035 (9.6% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $37,224 (1.8% lower than the national average)

    Utah's largest city, Salt Lake City, is the nation's leader for the most diverse job market. This means that the city was able to keep most of its jobs staffed and most of its labor force engaged—despite fluctuations in the number of jobs available. While Utah also leads in job growth, a weak educational system threatens to undermine the state's ability to fill high-skilled jobs.

  • #21. Illinois
    32/ Pixabay

    #21. Illinois

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.4% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 10.6% (0.9% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 134,693 (7.4% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.3% (0.2% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.6% (0.6% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $54,646 (5.1% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $40,648 (7.2% higher than the national average)

    While job growth is up and unemployment is down, many in Illinois still struggle to find enough work. The low unemployment numbers may be due to the number of workers who have given up on finding work. A small number of high-skilled jobs exists in Illinois, but many that have been unemployed or underemployed for a long time are finding it difficult to compete for these jobs against new graduates.

  • #20. Alabama
    33/ Pixabay

    #20. Alabama

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.4% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 14.0% (2.5% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 36,897 (7.0% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.7% (0.4% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.3% (0.3% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $48,391 (7.0% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $33,981 (10.4% lower than the national average)

    Alabama is another state that has more jobs than applicants. A weak educational system leaves employees without the needed skills to compete for these jobs. The high drug abuse problem in Alabama presents another challenge. The employment situation has stifled job growth in the state. Those who choose to apply for a high-skilled job in the state will find wages significantly below the national average.

  • #19. Vermont
    34/ Pixabay

    #19. Vermont

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.5% (the same as the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 9.1% (2.4% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 8,965 (9.1% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.1% (1.0% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 3.5% (1.6% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $42,267 (18.7% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $37,154 (2.0% lower than the national average)

    While Vermont is among the most beautiful states, it also has some of the worst job outlooks. As is the case for most of the Northeast, there are more applicants than jobs in the state. Without a major metropolitan area, there is no draw for large employers to relocate to the region. With population growth soaring, state spending is on the rise without any corresponding growth in employment.

  • #18. Michigan
    35/ Pixabay

    #18. Michigan

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.5% (the same as the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 12.0% (0.5% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 85,296 (7.1% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.9% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.5% (0.5% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $50,810 (2.3% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $36,396 (4.0% lower than the national average)

    Michigan has a college graduate poverty rate on par with the national average. With a general poverty rate above the national average and wages slightly below the national rate, Michigan reflects the population and job growth decline indicative of a Rust Belt state. While Detroit is on the rebound, the state is still far from its heyday in the 1950s.

  • #17. Arkansas
    36/ Pixabay

    #17. Arkansas

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.5% (the same as the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 14.1% (2.6% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 21,659 (7.2% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.2% (0.9% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.5% (0.6% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $45,805 (11.9% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $32,004 (15.6% lower than the national average)

    The home of Walmart, Arkansas shares the economic realities of its neighbors Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and Missouri. The state saw unemployment drop in recent years, while the largest pool jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent. Salaries remain below the national average—only Mississippi has a lower worker compensation among Arkansas' adjacent states.

  • #16. Kentucky
    37/ PIxabay

    #16. Kentucky

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.5% (the same as the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 14.9% (3.4% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 33,011 (7.8% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.6% (0.5% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.9% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $46,223 (11.1% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $34,200 (9.8% lower than the national average)

    Kentucky has seen an uptick in health care, tech, business, and tourism jobs. Despite that, the state's average income is below the national average and unemployment is on par with national averages. A weak state economy and high tax burdens keep it toward the bottom of the list of states with the best job opportunities.

  • #15. Georgia
    38/ Pixabay

    #15. Georgia

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.6% (0.1% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 13.1% (1.6% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 87,266 (6.7% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.2% (0.1% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.5% (0.5% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $51,068 (1.8% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $35,868 (5.4% lower than the national average)

    The first state to have a college graduate poverty rate greater than the national average, Georgia is another “big city and rural rest of the state” situation. While Atlanta’s job market—which includes Delta Airlines, Home Depot, and Coca-Cola—remains relatively strong, the rest of the state is suffering. Georgia shares the struggling economy of its neighbors Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina. News that Atlanta is expected to lose 20,000 jobs in 2018 and 2019 is making things worse.

  • #14. West Virginia
    39/ Pixabay

    #14. West Virginia

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.6% (0.1% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 14.3% (2.8% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 13,249 (8.5% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.4% (0.7% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.3% (0.3% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $43,617 (16.2% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $32,781 (13.5% lower than the national average)

    West Virginia's biggest problem is that it lies too far away from major metropolitan areas. This creates a situation where there is not a large demand for college graduates in the state's workforce, thus keeping average wages, per capita personal income, and labor force participation all significantly lower than national averages.

  • #13. Hawaii
    40/ Pixabay

    #13. Hawaii

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 4.7% (0.2% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 9.0% (2.5% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 13,725 (6.3% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.3% (0.8% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 3.6% (1.4% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $49,455 (4.9% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $40,239 (6.1% higher than the national average)

    Hawaii is a contradiction regarding its job market. With the state's unemployment rate of 2.3%—one of the lowest in the U.S.—and a poverty rate a full 2.5 percentage points below the national average, you'd think that working in Hawaii would be paradise. The fact, however, that employers are having difficulty finding high-skilled workers reflects the reality that the unemployment rate is driven by retiring baby boomers. A net population loss of more than 1,000 per year is exacerbating the problem.

  • #12. Louisiana
    41/ Pixabay

    #12. Louisiana

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.0% (0.5% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 15.4% (3.9% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 35,883 (7.4% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.9% (0.2% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.1% (the same as the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $47,974 (7.8% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $35,448 (6.5% lower than the national average)

    Louisiana is in a tough spot. A protracted recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the Great Recession have left the state infrastructure poor, with the majority of its roadways in a state of disrepair. With over 15% of all state's residents living below the poverty line, there has not been enough state investment or encouragement to bring major employers into the state. The 2016 flood set the state back, but reports indicate that employment levels are now at pre-flood levels.

  • #11. Montana
    42/ Pixabay

    #11. Montana

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.2% (0.7% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 11.1% (0.4% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 10,979 (7.0% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.3% (0.8% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 3.7% (1.3% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $40,403 (22.3% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $32,304 (14.8% lower than the national average)

    There is a significant difference between living in a city and living in the country in Montana. While non-farm labor has been on the rise in Montana's cities, non-farm labor in the rural areas has been largely excluded from the state boom. Five out of 56 counties account for 75% of all new job creation from 2000 to 2016. This reflects the fact that the state's high-skilled jobs are clustered together, largely excluding the rest of the state.

  • #10. Idaho
    43/ Pixabay

    #10. Idaho

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.2% (0.7% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 11.2% (0.3% lower than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 16,251 (8.0% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 2.2% (0.9% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 4.2% (0.8% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $42,366 (18.6% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $32,206 (15.1% lower than the national average)

    While manufacturing jobs are on the rise in Idaho, the low unemployment number suggests that many college graduates are not unemployed, but underemployed. This is also creating a situation where the average wage is more than 15 percentage points below the national average for the general population and 18 percentage points below for college graduates.

  • #9. California
    44/ Pixabay

    #9. California

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.2% (0.7% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 12.1% (0.6% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 443,385 (7.9% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 4.1% (1.0% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 6.1% (1.1% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $59,709 (14.8% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $39,663 (4.6% higher than the national average)

    The job market in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area remains electric, with record low unemployment rates and high wages. This situation, however, is not the same in Northern California—where the level of employment mirrors that of neighboring Oregon.

  • #8. New York
    45/ Pixabay

    #8. New York

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.2% (0.7% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 12.3% (0.8% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 242,699 (8.7% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.5% (0.4% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.3% (0.3% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $56,910 (9.4% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $41,761 (10.1% higher than the national average)

    New York presents a dichotomy. While New York City is the best city in the nation for job prospects for new graduates, the rest of the state presents a different situation. Upstate New York, for example, has been in decline for decades in part due to a slowdown of the nation's industrial base and in part due to the state prioritizing downstate development over upstate.

  • #7. Arizona
    46/ Pixabay

    #7. Arizona

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.4% (0.9% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 13.2% (1.7% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 69,585 (8.1% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.1% (the same as the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.6% (0.5% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $50,483 (3.0% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $35,986 (5.1% lower than the national average)

    With high unemployment rates and low wages, Arizona is struggling. Even though two Arizona cities—Chandler and Peoria—are recognized as having high employment growth, and despite Scottsdale being the top city in 2019 for job seekers, the state does not have significant growth in non-health care industries. The lack of a significant build-out in tech or finance sectors make it less attractive for new graduates.

  • #6. Mississippi
    47/ Pixabay

    #6. Mississippi

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.4% (0.9% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 16.9% (5.4% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 20,128 (7.6% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.0% (0.1% lower than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 6.1% (1.1% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $41,660 (19.9% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $31,734 (16.3% lower than the national average)

    The poorest state in the nation, Mississippi simply does not have the infrastructure to support a large college graduate population. While there are high-skill job opportunities in Jackson and Biloxi and while Mississippi has engaged in infrastructure building in recent years, the state has yet to figure out how encourage major employers to move to the region.

  • #5. Washington D.C.
    48/ Pixabay

    #5. Washington D.C.

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.6% (1.1% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 13.5% (2.0% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 16,040 (13.6% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.3% (0.2% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 6.3% (1.3% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $64,934 (24.8% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $59,284 (56.4% higher than the national average)

    It is hard to get a job in the nation's capital. Despite a large number of government, finance, and tech jobs, the competition for them is the highest in the nation. With most of the District's high-paid employees commuting in from Maryland or Virginia, 90% of all residents that both live in and were born in Washington D.C. make less than $75,000 a year.

  • #4. Nevada
    49/ Pixabay

    #4. Nevada

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.8% (1.3% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 11.5% (the same as the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 28,798 (8.5% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 4.3% (1.2% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 6.9% (1.9% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $47,109 (9.4% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $35,236 (7.1% lower than the national average)

    While northern Nevada is emerging as the newest tech hotspot and Las Vegas is seeing record employment, Nevada is relatively weak on high-skilled jobs. With most jobs in service or mining, there may be little opportunity for graduates in the state outside Reno and Las Vegas. In Carson City, for example, there was a drop of 100 jobs in December 2018.

  • #3. Oregon
    50/ Pixabay

    #3. Oregon

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 5.8% (1.3% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 11.9% (0.4% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 51,048 (8.4% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.5% (0.4% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.3% (0.3% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $46,429 (10.7% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $35,462 (6.5% lower than the national average)

    Like many other states, Oregon is facing a tight economy, with not enough skilled laborers available to fill the open positions available. While the rate of short-term unemployment has been consistently dropping, the lack of skilled workers is creating a job contraction as businesses start to look at relocation elsewhere.

  • #2. Florida
    51/ Pixabay

    #2. Florida

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 6.0% (1.5% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 12.7% (1.2% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 256,861 (9.0% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.7% (0.6% higher than the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.9% (0.9% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $45,077 (13.3% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $32,419 (14.5% lower than the national average)

    Florida is job-rich right now. However, not many jobs are high-paying or high-skilled. With health care and tourism driving Florida's job growth, there is little in Florida for those majoring in tech or finance. Low wages also make Florida less attractive for the new graduate.

  • #1. New Mexico
    52/ Carol M Highsmith // Picryl

    #1. New Mexico

    - Poverty rate for college grads age 25+: 6.6% (2.1% higher than the national average)
    - Poverty rate for all workers age 25+: 16.5% (5.0% higher than the national average)
    - Graduates age 25+ with income below poverty level: 25,656 (12.1% of college grads)
    - Unemployment rate for college grads age 25+: 3.1% (the same as the national average)
    - Unemployment rate for all workers age 25+: 5.8% (0.8% higher than the national average)
    - Median income for college grads age 25+: $43,954 (15.5% lower than the national average)
    - Median income for all workers age 25+: $32,097 (15.3% lower than the national average)

    The worst state for college graduate poverty is New Mexico. With 1.5% unemployment for all workers age 25+ and with wages 15 percentage points below the national average, the New Mexico economy has yet to meet the expectations of the college graduate workforce. A lack of qualified workers—74% of all employers reported in 2017 that they have at least one position they have trouble filling—and insufficient state-provided job training are leaving the state in a bad place. The crackdown on immigration, which has even scared legal immigrants from applying for jobs, have also scarred the New Mexico job scene, as the state is majority Hispanic.

2018 All rights reserved.