Sunday, December 30, 2007

"Not employed" the college degree, worth the price of enrollment?

"A Duke University spokesman said that 40 percent of Duke's engineering graduates cannot get engineering jobs."

"Tuition at public universities has risen an unprecedented 51 percent over the last five years."

Incredibly, U.S. News is telling college graduates to look for jobs that do not require a college diploma. Among the 31 best opportunities for 2008 are the careers of firefighter, hairstylist, cosmetologist, locksmith and security-system technician.

WorldNetDaily: A degree of insignificance, 12/28/2007

I recently discovered that the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes data by educational levels, but only in the age range of "25 and over." College Graduate employment data is currently available from 1992 to Qtr3 2007. The "Employment-population ratio" is a very revealing statistic, and since the antithesis of employed is not-employed, we can subtract the employed percentage from 100%.

Chart1: Not Employed by percent of population w College Degrees.

I’m fond of extrapolating the number of persons from the percentages, to present the true number of jobless persons. The following chart shows the total of Not Employed College Gradates at year end. (Reminder, college graduates driving cabs or flipping burgers are considered employed.)

Chart2: Persons Not Employed with College Degrees

The next chart is for comparison to stated unemployment rates for college graduates, we can see the overall trend of non-employment for college graduates is increasing while unemployment eligibility remains almost perfectly flat.

Chart3: College Graduates (male and female) Not Employed compared to College Graduates eligible for unemployment
Finally, I’ve taken an average of Not Employed College Graduates for 1992 – 1999 (Male 16.31% and Female 26.73%) Certain trends such as retirement should remain relatively static. The following chart is adjusted for population growth and reflects additional non-employed college graduates above the 1992 – 1999 averages.

Chart4: Not Employed College Graduates above/below 1992-1999 average – by year.
Referring back to the WorldNetDaily article: "…former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says more education is the means for Americans to compete in a global economy."

In actuality, more education is the means for subsidizing foreign student enrollment in American postgraduate programs. Lowering educational costs, housing costs and personal income taxes is the true means for Americans to compete in a global economy. Until these cost are lowered, protectionism is a viable economic remedy to excessive immigration and labor arbitrage.
Data source:
Bureau Labor Statistics
Series Id: LNU02327678Q
Series Id: LNU01027678Q
Series Id: LNU02327682Q
Series Id: LNU01027682Q

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