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The jobs recession of the last several years has forced recent college grads to settle for low-skilled jobs in restaurants and retail stores. And new research from the National Bureau of Economic Research says that even as the economy improves, they may be stuck in those low-skilled jobs.

The research found that companies in the 1990s hired more educated workers to design, develop, and build high-tech systems at rapid rates as the economy improved, but that trend is not the same in the current economic recovery.

"Once the robots are in place you still need some people, but you need a lot less than when you were putting in the robots," said Paul Beaudry, an economist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the paper's lead author.

"There are people with master's degrees and bachelor's degrees and even people with law degrees applying to work for $10 an hour," Brian Hackett said, a recent graduate from the College of New Jersey.

A report from the Associated Press in 2012 found that 53% of recent college graduates are either unemployed or have had to settle for low-skilled work. 

For more information on the study, see the Wall Street Journal

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Updated: Wed, Mar 27th 2013 @ 9:21am EDT