In the COMPARABLE framework the “E” is for “Edges”, and part of the “question of edges” is whether there are significant subpopulations. In the case of unemployment of recent college grads, the answer is yes:
The center would tell you only that the average unemployment for college grads is about 9%. But the lowest rates here (5% for Education and Health) are significantly below that, and in fact significantly outperform the general unemployment rate. On the other hand, those getting a degree in Arts have an unemployment rate of 11%. Digging into the original report, I find the unemployment rate for recent English majors is 9.1%, about average.
Of course, compared to those who didn’t graduate college at all, college grads do pretty well — even Arts majors. The overall recent college graduate average of 9% compares with a stunning 22.9% for people with only a high school diploma. There’s a mix of cause and confounding there, but even controlling for the usual suspects significant gains still persist.