The Jobless Recovery and the Education Gap
Note that the employment level for college graduates flattened during the 2008-2009 recession, but is now at a record high level. In contrast, the employment level for workers without a high school diploma is about 2.5 million below the pre-recession peak. Likewise the jobless rate for college graduates has increased by a few percentage points because of the recession (and is now at 4.4%), but the jobless rate for workers with less than a high school diploma has increased by more than six percentage points (now at 14.3%), and was recently almost ten percentage points above its pre-recession level.
Bottom Line: The current jobless recovery, compared to the last two, is more severe and persistent, largely because of: a) the falling employment level and b) elevated jobless rate for workers lacking a high school diploma. While lacking a high school diploma has always been a liability for workers, that liability has gone from a minor liability to now a major setback as we move increasingly into a knowledge-based economy. Comparatively, college-educated workers are doing quite well, it's the less educated workers that are struggling, and will continue to struggle, to find employment and keep a job.