Summer Reading Series: America's Divided Recovery

There’s nothing I love more than a good, super sad read (seriously, if you need recommendation on books that remind you of feelings, let me know), so, for my summer reading recommendation, I selected a recent report documenting the anemic jobs recovery for workers without a college degree, despite overall employment growth in the economy. The report, entitled America’s Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Nots, was published by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce in June 2016.

While the economy has added 11.6 million jobs since January 2010, nearly all of those new jobs have gone to workers with some postsecondary education (which includes not only Bachelor’s degrees, but Associates and professional degrees). While this trend towards jobs that require more advanced education did not begin with the recession, the recession exacerbated and intensified the trend. As the report explains, jobs in the construction and manufacturing industries were especially hard hit during the recession, eliminating jobs often occupied by workers without advanced education. Additionally, as technology has been more thoroughly incorporated into work, some office and administrative support jobs have been replaced by automation and new technologies.

The report offers a helpful guide to understanding the trends under the high-level economic and jobs data often reported. Job losses and recovery are documented thoroughly by occupation and industry, with additional explanation about how these industry trends impact workers with a high school diploma or less. The report does not offer much in the way of strategies or solutions to these challenges, but that’s what economic developers are for ;)

If you don’t have time for a 30+ page report, GCEW also offers the information as a PowerPoint, Interactive Chart, and Video.

More reports by GCEW can be found here.

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