Unemployment Rate for Those with a College Degree Just 4.2% in January

The Value of a Degree - Apple with a graduation hat - IllustrationIt should come as no surprise to you to learn that the unemployment rate for people with a college degree is significantly lower than the rate for the rest of the population.

According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Services), the seasonally adjusted January/2011 unemployment rate for those people over the age of 25 with a college degree (Bachelor's degree and higher) was just 4.2%, down from 4.8% in December and 5.1% in November.

As of Jan/2011, 46,263,000 members of the civilian labor force had a Bachelor's degree or better, according to the BLS. Of these 46.26 million people, 44,322,000 were employed in January, while just 1,941,000 were counted as being unemployed.

Let's look at the numbers for the three other major "educational attainment" groups (over 25 years old) - "less than a high school diploma", "high school graduates/no college", and "some college or associate degree".

January 2011

"Less than a high school diploma":

Unemployment Rate - 14.2%
Civilian Labor Force - 11,383,000
Employed - 9,770,000
Unemployed - 1,613,000

"High school graduates, no College"

Unemployment Rate - 9.4%
Civilian Labor Force - 37,513,000
Employed - 33,972,000
Unemployed - 3,541,000

"Some college or associate degree"

Unemployment Rate - 8.0%
Civilian Labor Force - 36,841,000
Employed - 33,878,000
Unemployed - 2,963,000


Thanks to a continued high unemployment rate in the country, employers are able to cherry-pick the very best applicants from the mountain of resumes that they usually receive with each and every job opening. All things being equal, the person with the college degree will almost always get the nod.

The industries that typically employ those in the bottom two categories (no high school diploma, high school diploma/no college), such as construction and manufacturing, have been hit hard by the "Great Recession". People with just a high school diploma or less have been forced to look for jobs in other industries (such as the service industry), but they are finding that the competition for jobs is extremely tough no matter where they turn.

Source: BLS.gov - Employment Status of the Civilian Population 25 Years and Over by Educational Attainment

HT: Businessinsider.com

Filed under: General Knowledge

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