Higher Education Results In Higher Earnings And Lower Unemployment Rates

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Higher Education Results In Higher Earnings and Lower Unemployment Rates


Employment with high pay packages and education are inextricably intertwined in the history of American society. The American economy is based on employment and levels of employment—from the highest paying professions to the lowest—depend on education.

Education pays. That's what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says. People with more education make more money. That's not a big surprise. But they also are less likely to be unemployed. Who has the highest unemployment rate and lowest pay rate? People without a high school diploma. When unemployment grows, those without a high school diploma suffer most. The GED is a chance to earn a high school diploma, but more than that, it opens doors to the higher education that's so valuable in today's job market. This paper discusses higher education results in higher earnings and lower unemployment rates in United States particularly in New York (Gray & Herr, pp. 56-67).


Take a look at unemployment rates in 2008 in New York. No high school diploma? The unemployment rate was 9%. Among high school graduates, it was only 5.7%. That's lower by more than a third. What if you earned a 2-year Associate degree at a community college? The unemployment rate was only 3.7% among people with Associate degrees. The more education you earned, the lower your chances of being unemployed. That means education equates to jobs in New York.

But what kind of jobs? That's where income comes in. Among people 25 and over who had full-time jobs, the median weekly income for people without a high school diploma was $426 in 2008. With a high school diploma, it jumped to $591 a week, an increase of nearly 40%. With that 2-year Associate degree, median income $736 a week. More education equates to better paying jobs in New York (Gray & Herr, pp. 98).

According to 2008 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, adults with less than a high school diploma had a 9% unemployment rate in New York, and earned a median income of $426, among those with jobs. High school graduates had only 5.7% unemployment, and earned $591 (Lynch, pp. 34-36). Those with some college who didn't graduate had 5.1% unemployment and earned $645. Those with an Associate degree had only 3.7% unemployment and earned $736. Those with a Bachelor's degree had 2.8% unemployment and $978 weekly earnings. A Master's degree? 2.4% unemployment and $1,228 weekly earnings. Those with a professional degree had the lowest unemployment, 1.7%, and weekly earnings of $1,522. Those with a Doctoral degree had 2.0% unemployment and the highest median earnings, at $1,555 per week (Lynch, pp. 67-79).

The opportunities that education gives you are too good to pass up. If you don't have your high school diploma, look into the GED. You can get more education, and more education means more opportunity in New York. Education pays very well. It has a high rate of return for students from all racial/ethnic groups, for men and for women, for ...
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