It’s also interesting to see the unemployment rate by schooling completed (p.23 of the National Center for Education Statistics study).
The total 2002 high school sophomore class was surveyed for employment status in 2012. Unemployed was 11% for the whole class, with this unemployment breakdown by educational level. Percentage is of the sophomore’s unemployment, not the percentage of the education level that is unemployed. For instance, after 10 years only 3% of the 2012 sophomore class did not have a high school or GED, but they contributed one-quarter of all the unemployed from their class. Also one-third earned bachelor degrees, yet they accounted for only 5.2% of the unemployed.
- Less than high school completion. 25.9%
- With a high school diploma or equivalent. 15.0%
- With some college but no credential. 14.1%
- With an undergraduate certificate. 11.8%
- Associate’s degree. 9.6%
- Bachelor’s degree or higher. 5.2%
Note in June 2012 the overall unemployment rate was 8.2%
Employment prospects rise with increased education. Although many sample post-high school education, for nearly half of the population, Kindergarten through Grade 12 is the predominant way they enter the work force with.
Consider Figure 1, a chart of jobs available by education level, students at that level, portion of all available jobs, and salary. Nearly 40% of all jobs offered require a high school degree or less. They are chased by 45% of the work force. This significant numbers cannot be sloughed off by saying everyone should get more education to get a better job.
The K-12 curriculum should have a prime goal of developing the academic and craft work skills necessary to succeed for the 40% jobs that 45% of students are aiming at.