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ERIC Number: ED534454
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Aug-15
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm
Carnevale, Anthony P.; Jayasundera, Tamara; Cheah, Ban
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
The rising cost of college education and high unemployment levels among recent college graduates are raising the question "Is college worth its cost?" in the minds of many Americans. A recent study published by the Associated Press found that one out of every two recent college graduates is jobless or underemployed, suggesting maybe college isn't worth the money. Yet, job losses in the recession and job gains in the early recovery tell a very different story. The marked global economic decline that began in December 2007, termed the Great Recession, severely damaged the economic progress of the United States. Employment gains of a decade were lost, sending January 2010 employment down to August 1999 levels. The Great Recession was the longest recession since World War II and recovery from it has been slow. By early 2012, only about half, 47 percent, of the jobs lost during the recession had been regained. Job creation is still insufficient to move the unemployment rate below 8 percent. The recession hit those with less schooling disproportionately hard--nearly four out of five jobs lost were held by those with no formal education beyond high school. At the other end of the spectrum, workers who had completed a four-year college degree or higher were largely protected against job losses during the recession and some high-education fields even had job gains. The job recovery has only increased the divide between the less-educated and more-educated: More than half of the employment increases have gone to workers with a Bachelor's degree or better, the rest of the gains to those with some college education or an Associate's degree. Even in the recovery, workers with only a high school degree or less have continued to lose jobs. At a time when college education is under attack from cost cutters and the increasing cost of college education is raising the question of whether postsecondary education is worth the money, the findings presented int this paper provide a compelling reason to say, yes. In jobs at every skill level and in many different occupations, the better-educated applicant has the edge. For workers, the findings point the way to acquiring the skills that the market needs and values. For students and their parents who are contemplating whether higher education is a good value, these findings make clear that the answer is a resounding yes. And for employers, the findings indicate the need to ensure that more of the workforce is prepared for higher education and their willingness to pay higher salaries to guarantee the workforce they need. Appended are: (1) Employment change over the recession by industry and sex, December 2007-January 2010; (2) Employment change over the early recovery by industry and sex, January 2010-February 2012; (3) Employment change during recession by industry and education, December 2007-January 2010 (All); (4) Employment change in the recovery by industry and education, January 2010-February 2012 (All); (5) Employment change during recession by industry and education, December 2007-January 2010 (Men); (6) Employment change during recession by industry and education, December 2007-January 2010 (Women); (7) Employment change in the recovery by industry and education, January 2010-February 2012 (Men); (8) Employment change in the recovery by industry and education, January 2010-February 2012 (Women); and (9) Employment by occupation and education, December 2007. (Contains 20 tables, 17 figures and 20 footnotes.) [For "The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm. Executive Summary," see ED534455.]
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. 3300 Whitehaven Street NW Suite 5000 Box 571444, Washington, DC 20057. Tel: 202-687-4922; Fax: 202-687-3110; e-mail: cewgeorgetown@georgetown.edu; Web site: http://cew.georgetown.edu
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Authoring Institution: Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce
IES Cited: ED544772