The Benefits Of A College Education
... Are what again? As the following graphic from IBD demonstrates, for the first time in history, a majority of jobless workers over 25 have attended some college, and now outnumber those without a job who simply have a high school diploma or less. But at least those in the fomer category have tens of thousands of non-dischargeable debt to show for it.
Out of 9 million unemployed in April, 4.7 million had gone to college or graduated and 4.3 million had not, seasonally adjusted Labor Department data show.
That's a swing of more than 2 million since the start of 1992, early in another jobless recovery, when 4.1 million who hadn't gone to college were jobless vs. 2.3 million jobless who had gone.
Mostly, this dramatic shift reflects broad demographic forces. A greater share of the population has attended college, at least for a time. Meanwhile, older Americans who were less likely to pursue higher education are exiting the work force.
In 2011, 57% of those 25 and up had attended some college vs. 43% in 1992. Those without a high school diploma fell from 21% to 12% over that span.
But along with the increasing prevalence of college attendance has come a growing number of dropouts, who have left school burdened by student loan debt but without much to kick-start their careers.
For those in the labor force — either with a job or in active pursuit of one — 57% of high-school grads with no college (2.9 million of 5.1 million) have found a full-time job.
For labor force members who have attended — and left — college or earned an associate degree, a depressing 64% (2.2 million of 3.5 million) have gained full-time employment.
Among everyone up to age 24 who has left college or earned a two-year degree — including those not actively searching — the full-time employment-to-population ratio has plummeted from 69% in 2000 to 62% in 2003 to 54%.
The good news? That part-time worker you are hiring at minimum wage likely has two Masters Degrees... and a Ph.D. (in economics).