Unemployment by Educational Attainment

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t04.htm This table shows UR by education level for the 25+ pop. Bachelors and above are currently at 4.5%. Since the full employment UR is generally decided to be 5%, could we assume that these 4.5% are either seasonally, structurally, or frictionally unemployed? Or is comparing UR to full employment by educational attainment not relevant somehow? Edit: My first thought is that the Bachelors+ pop is generally more geographically agile than those less educated, so structural unemployment would be lower. Frictional unemployment would be lower among them since they are more adapt with computers and job search techniques. And they are less likely to be in the market for seasonal employment. These factors would reduce their full employment UR, no?

i think it may be much simpler than your thought of agility and such. a bachelor’s degree is a general benchmark for intelligence, ambition, and discipline. if you hold a bachelors, odds are that you have an iq of 95 or above, you are fairly disciplined or better (i.e. you’ll get to work on time, you’ll do you work without supervision), and you have a clue what you’re good at and/or what interests you. because of this, those who hold bachelor’s degrees can get white collar jobs, blue collar jobs, no collar jobs, better than any other group. and yes, those who get a bachelors are generally wealthier (wealthier families) so your idea of agility likely holds some weight.

thanks MLA. In the high times of the late 90s when the USA was at full emp of about 5% UR, Bachelors+ had a UR of 2-3%, so full employment UR varies by education level.

this is quite interesting. i never before realized how low full employement for the educated was. i’d have to assume that the least educated are the last to acheive full employment and the first to lose full employment in each cycle. so really, the main thing we pay for when “buying” a bachelor’s degree is risk reduction…though i’m sure the rate of full employment will continually rise as more become educated both domestically and globally. i don’t know how much lower structural and frictional would be as the skills change for white collar jobs but hardly change for blue and no collar jobs. i would have to stick with attributing it to job ‘theft’ on behalf of the educated from the non-educated. you almost have to build a new theory should you begin to segment the different groups by education level and include more factors than just structural and frictional.

Risk reduction for college grads? Sort of. The table I linked above is only 25+, but I saw some data looking at college grads under 25 who are not enrolled. Found that while 83 percent are employed, only two thirds of these kids have college labor market jobs—lots still working in teen labor markets. So only about 50 percent of new college grads who don’t go to grad school get a college labor market job. That said, the wage premium for a bach degree has increased over time, but this particular economic climate is making it difficult for new grads to break into the mkt as older workers are slow to retire as 401ks/pensions are melting away.

What’s interesting is to think about the type of future job creation required to bring us back to NIARU in the context of the unemployment rates demographics. Granted manufacturing has had job growth but it’s due more to the extreme cuts of 2009 and the current growth is far from sustainable. I just don’t see how we are going to re-employ millions of people without a college education.

recycler - In protracted downturns, lower skilled workers tend to fade out of the labor force and seek underground employment or public assistance. Part of the reason why E/P is at a 30 year low.


employment to pop.