The following is a guest post by Bruce Yandle, distinguished adjunct professor of economics with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and dean emeritus of the College of Business & Behavioral Science at Clemson University. The opinions expressed here are his own.
Last month’s report on U.S. employment growth brought no cheer to job-seekers with a high school education.
In June 2010, the unemployment rate for adults 25 or older with a high school diploma was 10 percent. Whereas unemployment among college educated adults was 4.4 percent. (Overall unemployment was 9.5 percent.)
Part of what’s making the unemployment number so high, aside from a dismal economy, is an education deficit. The idea of lining up shovel-ready jobs with stimulus money may sound good, but our economy is not a shoveling one. Instead, our economy is calling for a more educated workforce.
The gap between the U.S. unemployment rate for Americans with high school diplomas and those with college degrees shot through the roof with the Great Recession (See figure 1). Because of this education deficit, the overall unemployment rate will not sink anytime soon.