Chart of the Week: How Does the Unemployment Rate Vary Based on Educational Attainment?

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May 29, 2015
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Career, Paying for College, Question of the Day, Research, Current Events, Chart of the Week

From WSJ:

Unemployment rate

Questions for students:

  • What key takeaways do you glean from this chart? What phrase might you use to summarize the chart?
  • What do you think lead to the spike in unemployment rates in 2009 across all educational levels?
  • What do you notice about the unemployment rate for “Some College” compared to “High School degree”?  Do employers value students who start college but don’t earn a degree?
  • Does a college degree become more/less valuable during challenging economic times?  (Hint: compare differences in unemployment in 2009 (a challenging economic time) vs. 2015)
  • Unemployment rates provide one way to look at value of education.  What might be other measures that you would be interested in to see the value of education?

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Check out the NGPF Activity in which students calculate the value of a college education

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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