This article in the University of North Carolina's Daily Tar Heel provides some national statistics on 2009 college graduates' difficulty of lining up jobs, compared to their 2007 and 2008 counterparts. Also, in support of common folk wisdom, a weak job market appears to be associated with greater student interest in graduate school.
“Right now we’re looking at around 39 percent, and typically we’re in the 25 percent range,” [UNC career services official Tim] Stiles said. “People want to park themselves in some graduate programs for the next few years to kind of ride things out.”
Much of the research on emerging adulthood implies that young people often voluntarily pursue post-graduate education in order to compete for "information age" jobs and to give themselves more time to "find themselves." In the present economic situation, the pursuit of additional education appears to be out of necessity in many cases.