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Higher Education And Employment Prospects for Young Adults: A New State-by-State Analysis

Studies generally show that the more education you have, the more money you earn. But there is also a very strong correlation between getting a degree or post-secondary training and finding a job in the first place. Recent analysis by Young Invincibles gives a state-by-state breakdown of unemployment rates, by educational attainment. The analysis shows that, particularly in tough economic times like these, gaining some sort of post-secondary training is crucial for economic success.

Using 2010 Census numbers, we found that the average unemployment rate for a 22- to 34-year-old with at least a bachelor’s degree is 4 percent, and shoots up to 13 percent for someone with only a high school degree. In some states, the unemployment rate gaps between high school and college graduates are much greater.

As college tuition skyrockets and graduation rates lag, we need to ensure that the right policies are in place to support access to higher education. This means creating incentives for college completion and protecting federal aid programs, such as the Pell grant.  It means encouraging other policies that bring down the cost of college. Higher education is essential to our nation’s economy, and to getting an entire generation back to work.