Productivity And The Education Delusion
There is a constant tension about education in labor economics these days. On one hand, education is strongly correlated with income and employability. Workers with college degrees, or even just some university-level courses, are significantly more likely to have a job and to be paid better, as well. This is borne out by today’s U.S. jobs report, which showed a decrease of unemployment for college graduates, but an increase of unemployment for high school graduates.
The tension comes when you look at the government’s projections for job growth over the next decade. The jobs with the highest expected growth are also among the jobs that are least likely to provide a living wage, occupations like personal care aides (median salary: $19,910 per year), retail sales people ($21,110 per year), home health aides ($20,820 per year), food preparation workers ($18,260 per year), and the list goes on. In…
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