Unemployment Rates and Education Levels

April 16, 2009 at 7:46 pm 1 comment

With unemployment levels surpassing 8% nationwide, this recession is impacting people in everyone’s neighborhood.  But the severity of the job market isn’t evenly distributed.   In an April 14 NY Times article, Harvard economics professions Edward Glaeser discusses how our current unemployment rates differ based on education levels.

Based on data from a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the highly educated individual may have taken the biggest hit in their portfolios during this recession, but the unemployment rate of college educated is almost half the national average.

Unemployment by Education
College degree: 4.3%
High school degree / no college: 10%
No high school degree: 15.5%

Those college educated in “professional” jobs are even better off with an unemployment rate of 3.9%.  Those professionals in financial services occupations are exception – their rate jumps to 6.8% – but it is still well below the national average.    Those hardest hit are in construction (21.1%), agriculture (19%) and production occupations (14.9%).  Glaeser uses these figures to make the point that government should focus its stimulus policies that helps less skilled become more educated.

Companies we speak with in professional industries, and especially those in energy and life sciences, are moving slowly but they are all anticipating a recovery that will stretch the resources of their staffing departments.   It’s just a matter of when.   Now is the time to focus on your pipeline.  Develop relationships with those talented people in the market now gaining valuable experience in consulting roles, and with those currently working with your competitors waiting for the market to improve.


Entry filed under: Statistics.

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