The Wall Street Journal – Number of the Week: Most Unemployed Have College Experience
The difference is particularly stark among young workers. In May, the unemployment rate for 16-24 year old high-school dropouts was 28%, while those in that age group with a bachelor’s degree or higher had just a 6.8% jobless rate. There is one area on the education ladder where the benefits are less clear—the difference between high-school graduates and college dropouts. In general, even a little college has been better than none for workers, but that difference appears to be narrowing. In 2011, workers with just a high-school diploma had an unemployment rate of 9.4%, it was 8.7% for college dropouts. Compare that with the 6.8% rate for those with an associate degree. College dropouts might have slightly better chances in the job market than their peers with just a high-school education, but they also have lost out on work experience and often accumulated student-loan debt. On the positive side, there is no indication that more college students are dropping out. The share of the workforce with some higher education but no degree has barely changed over the past 20 years, even amid larger shifts at both ends of the spectrum.
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Source: Bianco Research