Chart of the Week: How Does the Unemployment Rate Vary Based on Educational Attainment?

From WSJ:

Unemployment rate

Questions for students:

  • What key takeaways do you glean from this chart? What phrase might you use to summarize the chart?
  • What do you think lead to the spike in unemployment rates in 2009 across all educational levels?
  • What do you notice about the unemployment rate for “Some College” compared to “High School degree”?  Do employers value students who start college but don’t earn a degree?
  • Does a college degree become more/less valuable during challenging economic times?  (Hint: compare differences in unemployment in 2009 (a challenging economic time) vs. 2015)
  • Unemployment rates provide one way to look at value of education.  What might be other measures that you would be interested in to see the value of education?

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Check out the NGPF Activity in which students calculate the value of a college education