Seattle Times business columnist Jon Talton reports on a new study.
…fairly good jobs remain for those without a bachelor’s degree, an estimated 30 million paying at least $35,000 a year in 2015.
That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. “In today’s labor market, the pathways to good jobs have become more complex,” it says. “The brightest economic prospects for workers without BAs are found more and more in skilled-services industries, such as healthcare and financial services, in which some college education has become much more important.”
Washington ranked No. 13 in the raw numbers of these jobs, in line with its population ranking.
The Georgetown study is relatively short, about 25 pages, with good graphics and clear analysis.
The number of good jobs held by workers with no more than a high school diploma has declined by over 1 million since 1991. Good jobs have shifted primarily to workers with Associate’s degrees, who have gained more than 3 million net new jobs during that same period.
Using our age-adjusted earnings standard for good jobs, we nd that the number of workers with good jobs that pay without a BA has increased over the past quarter century— from 27 million in 1991 to 30 million today, even with large losses in manufacturing employment. The share of good jobs held by workers without a BA, though, has declined, from 60 percent to 45 percent of all good jobs, as BA holders are taking an increasing share of the good jobs. Workers with BAs now hold 36 million good jobs.
The policy prescription:
The brightest economic prospects for workers without BAs are found more and more in skilled-services industries, such as healthcare and nancial services, in which some college education has become much more important. To compete effectively, workers need some level of postsecondary education and training. In addition, a variety of non-degree credentials are sometimes necessary to get those jobs, or to advance in them.
If policymakers want to get serious about restoring the health of the middle class, mapping this education and workforce landscape—both the educational pathways and the occupational pathways available to workers at different levels—is crucial.
The conclusions are largely consistent with the findings presented in the Washington Roundtable and Boston Consulting Group report we first wrote about last October. There are abundant opportunities being created in our state – 740,000 new jobs opening up in the next five year. It’s imperative that Washington students have the training and education that qualifies them to fill the new positions.