Bringing the Economy Home

For Young People, College Degrees Cut Unemployment

Michael Okoniewski / Bloomberg via Getty Images

StateImpact has reported on Idaho’s high rate of youth unemployment. We’ve also pointed out that unemployment rates vary according to workers’ educational backgrounds. So a post from Catherine Rampell at The New York Times‘ Economix blog that compares the unemployment rates of high-school-educated twenty-somethings to their college-educated peers caught our eye.

Rampell writes:

[T]he unemployment rate for people in their 20s with college degrees or more education was 5.7 percent (for those whose highest credential was no more than a bachelor’s, the number was 5.8 percent). For those with only a high school diploma or G.E.D., it was more than twice as high, at 16.2 percent. – The New York Times

This finding has particular resonance in Idaho, which has an above average on-time high school graduation rate, but a below average rate of college-educated adults.

According to the most recent figures from the National Center for Education Statistics, Idaho has the 10th highest rate of on-time high school completion in the nation, as well as the country’s second lowest dropout rate. Meanwhile, data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that just under a quarter of Idahoans hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Nationwide, the rate is 27.5 percent.

It’s one more indication that education is implicit in any discussion of Idaho’s economy.


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