Median weekly earnings in 2017 for those with the highest levels of educational attainment—doctoral and professional degrees—were more than triple those with the lowest level, less than a high school diploma. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Even if your career path seems hazy, the data are clear: More education leads to better prospects for earnings and employment. Elka Torpey is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. 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But U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data consistently show that, in terms of dollars, education makes sense. The difference in employment rates between males and females (also referred to in this indicator as the gender gap) was narrower at higher levels … They do not take into account completion of training programs in the form of apprenticeships and other on-the-job training, which may also influence earnings and unemployment rates. A major benefit of education is the lower risk of unemployment at higher educational levels. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers. These data are from the BLS Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of households that collects information about demographic and labor force characteristics. The site is secure. Here is how you know. In PSID (Panel Study of Income Dynamics) data on the male labor force1 the reduction of the incidence of unemployment is found to be far more important than the reduced duration of unemployment in creating the educational differentials in unemployment rates. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey. Note: These data have been updated. Compare unemployment by education level in 2017 with the overall unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. The most recent chart is available here. Note: Data are for persons age 25 and over. Employment rates were higher for 25- to 34-year-old males than for their female peers in 2019, overall and at each level of educational attainment. Career Outlook, Unemployment rates and earnings by education, Median weekly earnings (in dollars) and unemployment rate (in percent) by educational attainment, 2017, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections. As that chart shows, the higher the level of education, the lower the unemployment rate. Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups, Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS), National Household Education Survey (NHES), Education Demographic and Geographic Estimates (EDGE), National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS), Career/Technical Education Statistics (CTES), Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program - (SLDS), National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC), NAEP State Profiles (nationsreportcard.gov), Public School District Finance Peer Search, Preprimary, Elementary, and Secondary Education, Family Involvement in Education-Related Activities Outside of School, Home Literacy Activities With Young Children, Racial/Ethnic Enrollment in Public Schools, English Language Learners in Public Schools, Characteristics of Elementary and Secondary Schools, Concentration of Public School Students Eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch, Characteristics of Public School Teachers, Characteristics of Public School Principals, Teacher Turnover: Stayers, Movers, and Leavers, Principal Turnover: Stayers, Movers, and Leavers, Characteristics of Traditional Public, Public Charter, and Private School Teachers, Characteristics of Postsecondary Students, Characteristics of Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions, Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates, Postsecondary Certificates and Degrees Conferred, Price of Attending an Undergraduate Institution, Population Characteristics and Economic Outcomes, Young Adults Neither Enrolled in School nor Working, Nondegree Work Credentials and Work Experience Programs, Employment and Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment, Employment Outcomes of Bachelor's Degree Holders, International Comparisons: Reading Literacy at Grade 4, International Comparisons: U.S. 4th-, 8th-, and 12th-Graders' Mathematics and Science Achievement, International Comparisons: Reading, Mathematics, and Science Literacy of 15-Year-Old Students. Studies in Human Capital, Elgar Publishers, 1993. The lesser frequency of job turnover of more educated workers, which creates fewer episodes of unemployment, is in large part attributable to more on-the-job training. Click the chart legend to see a second chart showing unemployment rates by educational attainment. Compare unemployment by education level in 2017 with the overall unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. The extent to which individual responses to household surveys are protected from discovery by outside parties depends... © 2020 National Bureau of Economic Research. In addition to working papers, the NBER disseminates affiliates’ latest findings through a range of free periodicals — the NBER Reporter, the NBER Digest, the Bulletin on Retirement and Disability, and the Bulletin on Health — as well as online conference reports, video lectures, and interviews. Before sharing sensitive information, Elka Torpey, "Measuring the value of education," make sure you're on a federal government site. In turn, the lesser unemployment incidence of the more educated workers is, in about equal measure, due to their greater attachment to the firms employing them, and to the lesser risk of becoming unemployed when separated from the firm. These education categories reflect only the highest level of educational attainment. It’s hard to quantify the full value of an education. Individual experiences differ, however, depending on factors such as your field of degree and your occupation. Click the chart legend to see a second chart showing unemployment rates by educational attainment. In PSID (Panel Study of Income Dynamics) data on the male labor force1 the reduction of the incidence of unemployment is found to be far more important than the reduced duration of unemployment in creating the educational differentials in unemployment rates. https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any A major benefit of education is the lower risk of unemployment at higher educational levels. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Data in the chart indicate how weekly earnings and rates of unemployment vary by educational attainment for workers ages 25 and older at a broad level. April 2018. In explaining the lesser conditional unemployment of educated workers and the somewhat shorter duration of their unemployment, indirect evidence is provided that (1) costs of on-the-job search for new employment relative to costs of searching while unemployed are lower for more educated workers; (2) that these workers are also more efficient in acquiring and processing job search information; and (3) that firms and workers search more intensively to fill more skilled vacancies. The And workers with at least a bachelor’s degree earned more than the $907 median weekly earnings for all workers. As the chart shows, the more you learn, the more you earn.