Benefits of education and the rates of unemployment

Benefits of education

Education has its benefits in that someone experiences lower risks of unemployment, especially at higher education levels. According to Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), the reduced unemployment incidences have become more important compared to the high rates of unemployment due to educational differences. On the other hand, industries keep maintaining the educated individuals in their firms after finishing their attachments resulting to less unemployment incidences for the educated people. The high rate of education for an educated individual is triggered by the following three factors. To start with, most of these people secure jobs while in colleges thus they easily acquire other jobs due to experience. Secondly, they have more skills in searching and processing application information for jobs as compared to school dropouts. Finally, most firms search for skilled and knowledgeable workers to fill their vacancies[1].

It is clear that the more number of graduates a nation has the higher the growth rate in the economy it experiences. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education (2009), the high rate of high school dropouts in 2009 in the United States reduced the nation’s economy by 335 billion US dollars as part of additional income if these people had graduated. The president for Alliance for Excellent in West Virginia claims that the high rate of high school drop outs is revenging of the nation its economy since these people are not fit enough to work in big industries. It a common knowledge that graduates gets high income as compared to high school dropouts and others at lower levels. In addition, these people who do not attain college education are most likely to miss places in the job industry as for the current economic recession[2]. Figure 1 below shows the unemployment rates by education levels in US.

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Figure 1: Unemployment rates by education levels (retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2009).

            From figure 1, the graph clearly indicates that the most affected people are the high school dropouts. The rate keeps on increasing as the years go on since it is seen that in 2007 the rate was 4.3 percent and increased to 15.4 percent in 2009. On the other hand, people with bachelor’s degrees and other higher levels like maters and doctorate degrees have high chances of getting employment. This is a clear indication that the higher the educations level the higher the chances of securing a job and the more educated an individual is the higher the salary. According to the U.S Census Bureau, the average annual income for high school dropouts in the country was 17,299 U.S dollars in 2005, while that for graduates was 26,933 for the same year. Though the difference seems small, it creates a big impact to the country’s economy[3].

            In the year 2010 in the US, the unemployment rate for people who owned high school diplomas were 10 percent while that for college degree owners was 4.4 percent. The main contributor to the high unemployment rate, not considering the low economy, is an education deficit. Whereas in other countries, example of African countries, education level is not the only employment determinant, the US economy calls for workforces composed of educated people.  Some people urge that the number of years someone spends in college should be coupled with high salary level, but research shows that even those who spend few years in technical courses perform better than a five-year course student. The big difference on the unemployment levels between the educated and the uneducated individuals is as a result of education deficit and there are possibilities of the gap increasing[4].

Currently young are being forced to work for long hours at a very little pay or else they are fired. Others work in supermarkets and other stores for more than two months without pay or at very little stipend. On the other hand, the government’s work experience requires young job seekers to work for duration of eight weeks with the exception of the minimum wage laws. Moreover, the department for work and pensions (DWP) requires new job seekers who show interest in a government job should dedicate one week work without pay for gaining experience. Young people face a lot of difficulties in securing permanent jobs, in some instances, they are forced to work 12 hours a day. Despite all these, the Human Rights Act (HRA) claims that this is misusing young people’s potential and lawyers have come up with legal challenges concerning the issue[5].

According to Censky (2011), the level of unemployment has increased at very high rate in comparison to the employment rate. This has occurred in contrast to the expectations that job creation would occur. The unemployment rate has resulted due to the occurrence of a recession in the economy. The U.S nation is under an economic recession; therefore, job creation is quite a difficult task at the present time[6]. Job creation becomes difficult since there are so many graduates and the number of employment opportunities is limited. Politics has a significant influence in the development of an effective-economic status of a nation. The nation has experienced political games that have resulted in a decline on the wage level for employees effectively. Politicians have engaged in a blame game of who has the responsibility of a decline in wage level, in the nation. In addition, the politicians have minimized the chances of job seekers participating effectively on job recovery. The reduction on employment levels formed the basis of political rhetoric that emerged from two sides of the nation’s politics. For example, the republican claim that the nation has inherent regulations and the stimulus-spending binge is not effective; therefore, job creation has a limitation. In addition, the republican add that the existing national debt forms challenge that the private sector has to face in order to create jobs.


The education largely determines an individual’s base salary through the level of education also matters. The increasing scarcity of jobs in the country has brought about a lot of competition whereby only professionals who have strong education backgrounds are securing jobs. On the other hand, some industries prefer employees with formal training in which case the relationship between the level of education and salary compensation matters. There are two reasons why bachelor’s education matters. First, these people are liable for a pay increase of between 10 percent to250 percent depending on the industry one works in. Secondly, the industry can recover its investments after training these people within a period of 3 to 5 years. In the current job environment, most employers use degrees and diplomas in the processes of looking for their employees. As many says, education is the most essential ingredient for success since an employee’s salary is determined by the level of education has achieved. Report from the U.S Department of Education’s National Centre for Education Statistics shows that between the years 1980 and 2005, most young people with a bachelor’s degree received higher earnings compared to those with little education[7].

The type of university attended determines the type of job one can get. Those who studied at top universities, like Harvard, are likely to acquire jobs more easily than those from other low-class universities. There are a number of factors that affect job availability depending on the type of university attended. To start with, top universities are known by employment firms to produce quality students so they definitely win job interviews. Universities like Harvard are globally known for their excellence, and their students have high demands in the job market. Secondly, top universities are known to prepare their students well when it comes to industry practices. The university syllabus is set in such a manner that graduates come out with full industry knowledge. Figure 2 shows the salary levels for graduates according to their former institutions. From the figure, salary scales for most competitive colleges are always higher than other colleges. The most competitive institutions went as high as 94,000 U.S dollars for people who graduated between 10 to 19 years. The salary scales for competitive institutions were 63,000 U.S dollars for people who graduated between 10 to 19 years. From the chart the more the number of years after graduation the higher the salary scales[8].

Figure 2: Salary scale according to the type of institution in the U.S (Chronicles of Higher Education, 2012)

In most cases, small businesses prefer employing people will less education since they cannot afford the salary of graduates. This leads to increased competition as the highly educated people have to look for jobs in bigger companies. Small companies prefer hiring less educated people because they demand less income. Most high school dropouts are willing to work provided they get enough money for the basic needs. Research has shown that most high school dropouts provide quality work and make companies achieve high productions. This is realized because most of these people work under pressure and fear of losing their jobs[9]. Moreover, these small industries make fewer revenues and are not in a position to employ many graduates as compared to bigger industries. In most cases, these small industries hire only one or two graduates to lead the company operations.

            Unemployment cases have improved with a very big percentage in recent years. The main reason being most people possess higher education degrees but there are limited numbers of industries offering employment. The most educated people always look for jobs in bigger industries, but the high competition only gives few chances of securing these jobs. According to USA Today, a big number of large firms have seized posting job opportunities. Between the year 2009 and 2010, there has been a 3.2 percent increase in the number of jobs added by large companies. One of the reasons why there has been a reduction in job openings for these companies is that these industries are shrinking and downsizing their employees. USA Today claims that small companies with less than 100 employees have reported more job openings as compared to the so-called large companies[10]. Employers should not only consider the education level but also the capability of the potential employee. Some people might have performed poorly in class but have excellent knowledge in handling certain processes in an industry.


Alliance for Excellent Education. “The High Cost of High School Dropouts”, Journal of Public

            Education Policy and Progress. Vol 9 no. 17. (2009)

Admin Secret. How Your Education Level Directly Affects Your Salary (It’s Bigger than You

            Think). (2012). Retrieved from:


Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment Status of the Civilian Population 25 years and Over by

            Education Attainment. 2009). Retrieved from:

Censky, A. June Jobs Report: Hiring Slows, Unemployment Rises. (2011). CNNMoney.

Retrieved from:

Guardian News and Media Limited. Young Jobseekers told to Work without Pay or lose

Unemployment Benefits. (2012). Retrieved on Wednesday 16 November 2011from:

Reuters Staff. High Unemployment and the Education Deficit. (2010). Retrieved from:

Riddell, W. C. & Xuenda. S. “The Impact of Education on Unemployment Incidences and Re-

Employment Success”: Evidence from U.S Labor Markets. Labor Economics. Vol. 18 (4). (2011), pp. 453-463

USA Today. Why aren’t the Biggest U.S Companies Hiring. (2012), Retrieved from:


[1] W. C. Riddell, & S. Xuenda. “The Impact of Education on Unemployment Incidences and Re-Employment Success”: Evidence from U.S Labor Markets. Labor Economics. Vol. 18(4). (2011): 453-463

[2] Alliance for Excellent Education. “The High Cost of High School Dropouts”, Journal of Public Education Policy and Progress. Vol 9 no. 17. (2009): 1-2

[3] Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment Status of the Civilian Population 25 years and Over by Education Attainment. 2009). Retrieved from:



[4] Reuters Staff. High Unemployment and the Education Deficit. (2010). Retrieved from:

[5]Guardian News and Media Limited. Young Jobseekers told to Work without Pay or lose unemployment benefits. (2012). Retrieved on Wednesday 16 November 2011from:

[6] A. Censky. June Jobs Report: Hiring Slows, Unemployment Rises. (2011). CNN Money.

Retrieved from:


[7] Admin Secret. How Your Education Level Directly Affects Your Salary (It’s Bigger than you think). (2012). Retrieved from:

[8] R. Vedder. Why Students Want to Go to Harvard. Chronicles of Higher Education. (2012). Retrieved from:

[9] Alliance for Excellent Education. “The High Cost of High School Dropouts”, Journal of Public Education Policy and Progress. Vol 9 no. 17. (2009): 5-6

[10] USA Today. Why aren’t the Biggest U.S Companies Hiring. Retrieved from:

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