Unemployment rates greatly affected by educational attainment

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The U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 9.0% in January from 9.4% in December and 9.8% in November. However, the January number was clouded by population updates and would have declined to 9.3% if not for a slide in the labor force.

Be that as it may, Chart of the Day produced an interesting chart, illustrating the unemployment rate by educational attainment. As shown below, higher educational attainment has correlated with a lower unemployment rate.

“The unemployment rate for those that have obtained a bachelor’s degree or greater (blue line) currently stands at 4.2%. While this is much higher than the sub 2% unemployment rate seen as little as a few years ago, it is dramatically lower than the unemployment rate for those with less formal education,” said the report. “The unemployment rate for those who have not completed high school (red line) currently stands at an extremely high 14.2% – more than triple the unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree (or greater).”

It is noteworthy that the unemployment rate for each level of educational attainment has moved markedly lower over the past few months.

Source: Chart of the Day, February 4, 2011.

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