The One Question Most Americans Get Wrong About College Graduates

The New York Times, 6-5-2016

This is the question: What do you think the unemployment rate is for 25-to-34-year-olds who graduated from a four-year college?

There is some evidence that having a college degree doesn’t guarantee a good job, but the alternative is much worse. Young people who have earned a college degree have substantially lower unemployment rates than those who haven’t. Since 2000, young college graduates, on average, have an unemployment rate that is 5.5 percentage points lower than those of nongraduates. And this gap typically widens during recessions; it expanded to 10 percentage points at the depths of the Great Recession.

College graduates also make more money. A typical college graduate can expect to make over half a million dollars more than a nongraduate over a lifetime. Much of this has to do with differences in wage growth during the midcareer of a college graduate versus a nongraduate.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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