Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Value of Education

I think this quote of today from CNN/Money talking about the current job market says it all.

"We haven't seen that much improvement in employment of hourly workers because the job market for lower-skill workers still has a lot of slack in it," said Mark Vitner, senior economist for Wachovia Securities. "But if you look at skilled workers, it's a much different picture. We're starting to see some real shortages in some sectors."

Vitner noted that the unemployment rate for college graduates is down to 2.3 percent, not significantly worse than the 2.1 percent unemployment rate for college graduates in April 2000, when the overall rate hit a 40-year low.

By comparison, workers with only a high school education had a 4.7 percent unemployment rate in June, far worse than the 3.3 percent rate in April 2000, while high school dropouts have a 7.0 percent unemployment rate today.

In short, the unemployment rate has not differed significantly throughout the recession for college graduates, but has increased by over 40% for those who are only high school graduates. It no longer pays to keep moderate-skill jobs in the United States, and that rate change shows it.

The lesson here, kids? Stay in school -- and when you get out, donate back to organizations like The Point Foundation.

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