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Unemployment and Education

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From Edward Glaeser in the New York Times:

Despite the abundance of front-page stories with headlines like “Ivy
League financier is now unemployed and homeless,” unemployment is
remarkably concentrated among the least-educated Americans. Today, the
seasonally unadjusted numbers show that 15.1 percent of high school
dropouts are unemployed; the comparable number for college graduates is
4.2 percent [2].

Yet despite the city’s many less-well-educated workers, and even
though this recession was supposed to decimate Wall Street, New York
has, so far, gotten through it with relatively little unemployment. As
of January, the city’s unemployment rate was 6.9 percent while the
national rate was 7.6 percent. The epicenters of the current recession
are California and Michigan, where the state unemployment rates [3] are already in double digits. Nine California metropolitan areas have unemployment rates above 12 percent [4].

Glaeser gives a number of possible explanations for why New York's unemployment rate is so low. I am drawn to this one:

This would also explain why the unemployment rate is so high for high school dropouts and so low for college grads. Not that many college grads are in construction. BTW, for high school grads without any college, the national unemployment rate is 9.6%.

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