College educated fare better with employment
Going to college has long been linked to higher lifetime earnings, better health and greater civic engagement. Data also show that those with higher education are less likely to be unemployed.
As shown in the table below, which covers the most recent five-year sample, the unemployment rate decreases as education increases. This has been the trend for decades.
For those concerned about unemployment rates for younger graduates, Minnesota census data show that 28% of 22- to 24-year-olds have a bachelor’s degree and their unemployment rate is 6.8% (compared to 12.5% for those with less than a bachelor’s degree).
The higher-educated population had a better chance of being employed through the recession, according to a Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality report:
Prior to the recession, unemployment for people with less than a high school degree hovered around 7%, while unemployment for college graduates was only about 2%. As unemployment spread, the rate for each educational category rose more or less proportionally. At peak unemployment in 2010, the rate for people without a high school degree had increased from 7 to nearly 15% and the rate for college graduates had increased from 2 to about 4.7%. The baseline differences were so large that proportional increases raised unemployment most for the least-educated and least for the most-educated. Even though unemployment rose for everyone, people without a high school degree bore a much greater unemployment burden (The Labor Force and the Great Recession, 2012).