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

Category: Think Tank

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5 Responses to “Who Is Unemployed”

  1. denim says:

    A macro economist might say that the aggregate demand is too low to support the hiring of these unemployed. Who is there to increase that demand? Companies have idle capacity to manufacture and service but they still have hoards of cash and deflating labor costs. If they give raises, profit sharing, and also expand R&D, will enough trickle down to the least one of the unemployed? The first question is how much of the hoarded cash is necessary to increase aggregate demand to that level. The second question, provided there is enough hoarded available, what will be the ROI to the companies? Will it be just from tax breaks or will something useful or interesting like Apple-style thingamajig be developed and marketed? Calculations, please.

  2. CTB says:

    My suggestion — start a government program to train these unemployed for low-level jobs in the medical field like orderlies in hospitals and nursing homes. Hire 500k-1mm people nationally in under-served areas. Pay would be minimal, but give them health care coverage. Give them an opportunity to learn more and move up the chain. This gets unemployed people working again in a relevant field and may lead to better medical care and lower costs.

  3. boogabooga1114 says:

    First: More Americans than ever have at least some college.

    Second: I’d hazard a guess — haven’t checked the data — that high-school grads or dropouts are less likely to be in the labor force in the first place.

  4. Conan says:

    The second graph of participation rate is very telling!! If I am reading this correctly only about 45% of those without at HS Diploma are even participating.. That is a very dark and ubly number..If memory serves me correctly the national average to graduate with a HS Diploma is like 70%. So if this correct approximately 30% of the popoulation is out in the cold one way or another….I feel sorry for these kids..being a father of three and having grown up poor in the US, but have support and getting my degree. Where were their parents, the teachers anybody… this is more than an economic failure, these young lives and the impoact it will have on them…

  5. constantnormal says:

    It’s not just who, it’s how many, and how fast are they being re-employed … are we even keeping up with the population increase?

    Running a FRED chart summing the numbers of noninstitutionalized civilian men and women age 18 & over, and averaging the monthly changes over the past 3 years, I come up with a population increase in that group (which admittedly includes all the retirees as well) of over 209 thousand per month.

    When I add in the civilian work force level, I see that since 2010, there has been essentially zero growth in it. Going back to the earliest data the Fed has for these metrics (1948), there has been nothing remotely comparable.

    This is a picture (at least to me) of a society that has been torn in two, with the permanently unemployed and the employed. Kinda like one might find in Haiti, or any other banana republic. Given that such an arrangement is considerably less efficient economically, we will likely see the relative sizes of each group changing over time, with the employed becoming fewer in number, and the unemployed larger, until only those on the island of Manhattan have jobs …

    Your participation rate chart also shows that we are NOT recovering, we are losing ground. And if you delve into the duration of unemployment, this no-recovery situation is even more obvious.