More than a third of recent col­lege grads with jobs are working in posi­tions that don’t require a degree.

Econ­o­mists call that figure the “mal-​​employment” rate, and right now it tops 36% for college-​​educated workers under the age of 25, according to fig­ures crunched by Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at North­eastern University.

People don’t go to col­lege to be a waiter or a bar­tender,” Sum said. “They lose and we lose.”

The offi­cial unem­ploy­ment rate for grads under age 25 was 7% in May, but that doesn’t reflect all those who are under-​​utilized in one way or another. Nearly 8% of grads are working part-​​time, but would like full-​​time posi­tions. These workers aren’t counted in the mal-​​employment rate.

Not sur­pris­ingly, hos­pi­tality and retail are the most common occu­pa­tions of the mal-​​employed. Of the nearly 3 mil­lion recent col­lege grads, 152,000 are working in retail sales and nearly 100,000 work as waiters, bar­tenders or in other food ser­vice posts. Another 80,000 serve as clerks or cus­tomer ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tives, with 60,000 working in con­struc­tion or manual labor.

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