College Degrees Helping in Job Recovery

Despite the struggling economic climate and tough job market of today, a college degree still proves valuable, according to findings from a recent study released by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce and funded by the Lumina Foundation.

While the study shows an increase in unemployment rates for all during the recent recession – defined as being from Dec. 2007 to Jan. 2010 – the rate for 4-year college graduates never exceeded 6.3%, compared to the rates for high school graduates, which peaked at 13.4% in Feb. 2010 and is currently at 9.4%.

The unemployment rate peaked for new 4-year college graduates in July 2011 at 11.1%, declining to 6.8% in May 2012. Comparatively, unemployment rates for new high school graduates peaked in January 2010 at 30%, and were still at 24% in May 2012.

During the recovery period – from Jan. 2010 to Feb. 2012 – findings showed that those with bachelor’s degrees or higher gained 2 million jobs; those with associate’s degrees or some college gained 1.6 million jobs; and those with a high school diploma or less lost 230,000 jobs.

College graduates’ earnings dropped slightly during the recession, but maintained fairly steady during the recovery. However, on average, college graduates still earn almost twice as much as high school graduates.

The recovery has seen nearly half of the jobs regained that were lost in the recession, while – though at a slower pace – high school graduates have continued to lose jobs.

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