Saturday, September 04, 2010

Unemployment Rate and Level of Education

by Bill McBride on 9/04/2010 05:41:00 PM

Another graph by request ...

Unemployment by Level of Education Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the unemployment rate by four levels of education (all groups are 25 years and older).

Note that the unemployment rate increased sharply for all four categories in 2008 and into 2009.

Unfortunately this data only goes back to 1992 and only includes one previous recession (the stock / tech bust in 2001). Clearly education matters with regards to the unemployment rate - but education didn't seem to matter as far as the recovery rate in unemployment following the 2001 recession. All four groups recovered slowly.

So far this year, the group with "less than a high school diploma" has recovered a little better than the more educated groups - although the unemployment rate increased for all four groups in August.

BLS Education Pays And here is a graphic from the BLS based on 2009 data: Education pays ...

This shows the unemployment rate and the the median weekly earnings by eight levels level of education.

The higher the education, the lower the unemployment rate - and the higher that median weekly earnings. Of course that doesn't necessarily mean that "education pays", because there is also a cost (both the actual cost and the opportunity cost), but in general education probably does pay (besides it is fun to learn).

And for Saturday readers, here are the employment posts yesterday (with many graphs):

  • August Employment Report: 60K Jobs ex-Census, 9.6% Unemployment Rate

  • Employment-Population Ratio, Part Time Workers, Unemployed over 26 Weeks

  • Employment Diffusion Indices