For the First Time, Number of Unemployed Who Attended College Outnumber Those Who Didn’t

Thursday, May 24, 2012
Parents may have a tougher time winning the argument with their children about the importance of attending college if their offspring hear the latest news from the U.S. Department of Labor.
As of April, the number of unemployed people (age 25 and older) who went to college was greater than the total of jobless workers with only a high school education. This is the first time in U.S. history that college-educated individuals have outnumbered those who never continued their formal education after high school.
In terms of total numbers, 4.7 million unemployed had gone to college or graduated while 4.3 million had skipped higher education altogether.
Jed Graham at Investor’s Business Daily noted that a greater share of the U.S. population today has attended college compared to 20 years ago during the recession of the early 1990s. This in part explains why, among the jobless, the college-educated are outnumbering others who stopped at high school.
As of last year, 57% of those 25 and up had attended some college. In 1992, the rate was only 43%. Meanwhile, “those without a high school diploma fell from 21% to 12% over that span,” wrote Graham.
Another factor is that more and more students who start college are forced to drop out because they cannot afford to continue. Of this group, 36% have been unable to find full-time employment.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
New Normal: Majority of Unemployed Attended College (by Jed Graham, Investor’s Business Daily)

Unemployment for Black Male College Graduates Almost Double That of Whites (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov) 


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