College graduates have lowest unemployment rate; those without high school diploma have the highest.

Calculated Risk takes a look at several decades of data tracking education and employment. The chart above shows the four groups: college graduates, some college, high school, and no high school diploma. All are age 25 or older. He concludes,

Clearly education matters with regards to the unemployment rate, with the lowest rate for college graduates at 2.3% in January, and highest for those without a high school degree at 6.3% in January.

As the chart shows, the CO”VID recession spiked unemployment for a relatively brief period.

All four groups were generally trending down prior to the pandemic.   And all are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels now.

This struck us:

Currently, almost 62 million people in the U.S. labor force have a bachelor’s degree or higher.  This is over 43% of the labor force, up from 26.2% in 1992.

This is the only category trending up.  “Some college” has been steady (and trending down lately), and both “high school” and “less than high school” have been trending down.

Based on current trends, probably half the labor force will have at least a bachelor’s degree by the end of this decade (2020s).

More analysis and another interesting chart at the link. He concludes,

Since workers with bachelor’s degrees typically have a lower unemployment rate, rising educational attainment is probably a factor in pushing down the overall unemployment rate over time.

Also, I’d guess more education would mean less labor turnover, and that education is a factor in lower weekly claims (prior to the pandemic).

A more educated labor force is a positive for the future.