THE VALUE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Millions of jobs were lost during the Great Recession, impacting workers across industries and setting into motion a long and inconsistent period of economic recovery. In today’s post-recession economy, millions of jobs have been added back—but they are not the same jobs that were lost. Economic changes and advancements in technology have led to a shift in demand for more educated workers.

THE JOB LANDSCAPE POST-GREAT RECESSION

For workers with at least some college education, the job market is thriving and high-skill jobs are available across industries. However, those with a high school diploma or less have recovered only 1 percent of the 5.6 million jobs lost in the recession, and they have yet to see the impact of an economic recovery.

Jobs Lost in the Recession
 Total jobs lost in the recession
 Jobs lost for workers with a high school diploma or less
  • 11.6 million
    Total jobs added since January 2010
  • 11.5 million
    Jobs added for workers with some post-secondary education
  • 80,000
    Jobs for workers with a high school diploma or less
  • 8.4 million
    Jobs added for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 3.1 million
    Jobs added for workers with some college or an associate degree
11.6 million Total jobs added since January 2010 3.1 million Jobs added for workers with some college or an associate degree 8.4 millionJobs added for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher 80,000 Jobs for workers with a high school diploma or less ,. 11.5 million Jobs added for workers with some post-secondary education

JOB GROWTH BY INDUSTRY

Based on trend data, nearly all industries are shifting toward a more educated workforce. In addition, industries that require more education are hiring more.

Healthcare, Business and Financial Services, Education and Government Jobs

1947 28% 2016 46%

Manufacturing, Construction and Natural Resources Jobs


1947 50% 2016 19%

Jobs in many skilled-services industries, such as consulting and business services, have grown substantially during the economic recovery. Meanwhile, the construction and manufacturing industries have recovered the least from jobs lost during the recession.

Manufacturing RECESSION RECOVERY 20 8 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20 -25 -5% 16% -17% -21% 9% 13% -3% Consulting and Business Services All industries Construction

WHERE ARE THE GOOD JOBS GOING?

Economic changes have offset the losses of good jobs in blue-collar industries with new good jobs in skilled-services industries. "Good jobs" are defined as jobs that pay an average of at least $55,000 per year. According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the education needed for workers to attain good jobs is also changing.

36 million BA good jobs 30 million Non-BA good jobs

Workers with associate degrees have gained the most good jobs across industries, from healthcare to financial and business services to construction.

Total change Healthcare services Financial and consulting/business services Leisure and hospitality, and personal services Wholesale and retail trade Construction Transportation and utilities Manufacturing Government services Education services Natural resources 0 500,000 1mm 1.5mm 2mm 2.5mm 3mm 3.5mm

Workers with bachelor’s degrees have gained far more jobs during the economic recovery than those with less education. However, among the new jobs available, more jobs are going to workers with some college education and associate degrees rather than workers with high school diplomas.

High school dropout High school graduate Some college Associate degree Bachelors degree and higher 2% 2% 55% 18% 14% 11% 55% 0% 100%
Sources: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “Good Jobs that Pay without a BA ” (2017).
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, “America’s Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Nots ” (2016).

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