Thursday, December 23, 2004

Pay More for College, Reap the Reward

Season's greetings from Uncle Sam," said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, which conducted one of the analyses and represents about 1,800 colleges and universities. "Your student aid stocking is going to be a little thinner next year."

The NYT reports today that due to cost-cutting changes, "virtually every state will be required to shoulder more of the cost of their education under new federal rules that govern most of the nation's financial aid." So students are shouldering more debt to attain a college degree, which is becoming an increasingly important prerequiste for economic advancement, but what about the rewards? We constantly hear employers gripe about a lack of "skilled" and "educated" workers, but in the current on-going job recession their words and deeds don't quite match. And this in spite of President Bush's claim that community colleges are going to re-educate American workers for the global economy.

Let's look at some facts. Back in August EPI relased an analysis of federal data showing increased rates of unemployment for college graduates in the current job market. So much for that expenseive college education.

Increases in unemployment by educational attainment are more uniform, signaling that this weak recovery has traversed across all educational lines. While the increase was still greatest among those with less than a high school degree, similar increases occurred for all other educational levels (ranging from 1.1 to 1.3 percentage-points). Especially unusual is the significant increase in the unemployment rate for college graduates—a 1.1 percentage-point rise in unemployment that exceeds the 0.7 percentage-point rise in a comparable period in the early 1990s.

Bush II's "job recession" is worse than his dad's.

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