The unemployment rate for college graduates is lower than that for people without degrees, but that doesn’t mean they’re having an easy time of it.

In fact, a new study finds that about half of recent grads are still without full-time work.

The Rutgers University study released this week revealed that among those who’ve graduated college since 2006, just 51 percent are employed full-time, and 11 percent are unemployed or not working at all.

What’s more, fewer than half of those who’ve graduated since 2009 found their first job within a year of getting their degrees, and they’re three times more likely to have not have found full-time work than those who graduated between 2006 and 2008.

And even when they do find jobs, they’re making less money now, earning staring salaries of $27,000. That’s $3,000 less than graduates from the classes of 2006 and 2007 earned, a decline analysts blame on the surplus of job-seekers. And since over half of degree-holders have student loans in excess of $20,000, they’re feeling the pinch especially hard.

“The resilience of this year’s and recent college graduates are being tested,” said Rutgers professor Carl Van Horn, who co-authored the study. “Students who graduated during the past several years are facing historic obstacles in achieving the foundations of the American dream.”

[The Huffington Post]