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The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm

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Many of the stories you've heard about the Great Recession often involve the plight of college graduates, or stories about how men and women have fared differently in the recession and recovery. The media have even created a new vocabulary to describe these differences, such as "Man-cession" and "Man-covery." But the evidence suggests that differences in education better explain how Americans have fared in these difficult economic times. In The College Advantage, we argue that college degrees have served as protection for Americans seeking shelter during a tough economic storm.

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The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm

  1. 1. The College Advantage: Weathering The Economic Storm By: Anthony P. Carnevale, Tamara Jayasundera, Ban Cheah August 15, 2012
  2. 2. Overview •  Almost half of the jobs lost in the recession have been recovered, and virtually all of those jobs required some form of postsecondary education. •  The wage advantage for workers with a Bachelor’s degree or better over high school has remained high. •  The wage premium for Bachelor’s degrees or better relative to high school degrees skyrocketed from 44 percent in 1981 to 100 percent in 2005. It has only fallen to 97 percent since the beginning of the recession.
  3. 3. Unemployment rates for college graduates have stayed low relative to those with a high school diploma Bachelor’s  degree   High  school  diploma   All  graduates     4.5   9.4   Recent  graduates   6.8   24   Source: Authors’ estimate of the Current Population Survey data (2007-2012). Employment includes all workers aged 18 and older.
  4. 4. Workers with a high school diploma or less bore the brunt of the recession’s job losses Source: Authors’ estimate of the Current Population Survey data (2007-2012). Employment includes all workers aged 18 and older. * Recession – The period from December 2007 to January 2010. ** Recovery – The period from January 2010 to February 2012. *** Net Change – The period from December 2007 to February 2012.   Educa4on  A7ainment   Job  Change   Recession*   Recovery**   Net  Change***    High  School  or  Less   -­‐5,611,000   -­‐230,000   -­‐5,841,000    Some  College/AA  degree   -­‐1,752,000   1,592,000   -­‐160,000    BA  degree  or  beGer   187,000   2,012,000   2,199,000    All   -­‐7,176,000   3,374,000   -­‐3,802,000  
  5. 5. The growth in employment in the past two decades has been entirely due to increases in college-educated workers -­‐4%   -­‐14%   41%   42%   74%   82%   -­‐20%   0%   20%   40%   60%   80%   100%   Jan-­‐89   Jan-­‐90   Jan-­‐91   Jan-­‐92   Jan-­‐93   Jan-­‐94   Jan-­‐95   Jan-­‐96   Jan-­‐97   Jan-­‐98   Jan-­‐99   Jan-­‐00   Jan-­‐01   Jan-­‐02   Jan-­‐03   Jan-­‐04   Jan-­‐05   Jan-­‐06   Jan-­‐07   Jan-­‐08   Jan-­‐09   Jan-­‐10   Jan-­‐11   Jan-­‐12   Percent  change  in  employment  from   Jan.1989  (%)   Recession   High  school  or  less   Associate's  degree  or  some  college   Bachelor's  degree  or  beGer   Source: Authors’ estimate of the Current Population Survey data (1989-2012). Employment includes all workers aged 18 and older.
  6. 6. Earnings of workers with a Bachelor’s degree or better are still nearly twice that of high school educated workers 54%   44%   100%   97%   40%   50%   60%   70%   80%   90%   100%   1970   1971   1972   1973   1974   1975   1976   1977   1978   1979   1980   1981   1982   1983   1984   1985   1986   1987   1988   1989   1990   1991   1992   1993   1994   1995   1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   College  earnings  premium  (in  percent)   Source: Authors’ estimate of the Current Population Survey data (1970-2010). Employment includes all workers aged 18 and older.
  7. 7. College enrollment for Fall 2010 exceeded the projection by 12 percent Source:  Total  fall  enrollment  in  all  postsecondary  degree-­‐granPng  insPtuPons  is  obtained  from  Integrated  Postsecondary   Educa1on  Data  System  (IPEDS)  data  made  available  through  the  U.S.  Department  of  EducaPon.     Actual,  21,016   Projected,  18,746   14,000   15,000   16,000   17,000   18,000   19,000   20,000   21,000   22,000   1995   1996   1997   1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   Postsecondary  enrollment  (in  thousands)   Actual   Projected  
  8. 8. Postsecondary enrollment skyrocketed in the recession and has plummeted since then 4.3%   1.2%   6.9%   2.9%   -­‐2%   0%   2%   4%   6%   8%   10%   1966  1968  1970  1972  1974  1976  1978  1980  1982  1984  1986  1988  1990  1992  1994  1996  1998  2000  2002  2004  2006  2008  2010   Recession   Fall  enrollment  gorwth  rate   Source: Total fall enrollment in all postsecondary degree-granting institutions is obtained from Digest of Education Statistics 2011, published by the National Center for Education Statistics.
  9. 9. Since the recession, male postsecondary enrollment has grown faster than female enrollment Source:  Total  fall  enrollment  in  all  postsecondary  degree-­‐granPng  insPtuPons  is  obtained  from  Digest  of   Educa1on  Sta1s1cs  2011,  published  by  the  NaPonal  Center  for  EducaPon  StaPsPcs.   3.5%   7.1%   4.9%   6.8%   0%   1%   2%   3%   4%   5%   6%   7%   8%   2002   2009   Postsecondaryenrollmentgrowthrate Male   Female  
  10. 10. Conclusion •  The rate of college enrollment jumped sharply, peaking in 2009, but has fallen off rapidly since then. •  The recession was a college wake-up-call for men. •  After lagging behind for decades, since 2006, the rate of increase in male enrollment has caught up and slightly surpassed the rate of increase in female enrollment.
  11. 11. For more information: See the full report at: cew.georgetown.edu/CollegeAdvantage/   Email Us | cewgeorgetown@georgetown.edu Follow Us on Twitter | @GeorgetownCEW Find Us on Facebook | Facebook.com/GeorgetownCEW Follow Us on LinkedIn | linkedin.com/company/georgetowncew

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