Reality Check

There are fewer jobs available today than ten years ago, despite the fact that the labor market has grown by 11 million since then, says a new report by the Economic Policy Institute  What’s more, the jobless rates for the  the poorest and least educated folks are the worst they’ve ever been.  In the last quarter of 2009, The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston looked at labor conditions for different income groups in the U.S.

Household Income                       Unemployment rate

$150,000+                                            3.2

$100,000 – $149,999                           4

$12,500 to $20,000                             19.1

$12,499 or less                                     30.8

Apparently, the 30.8 percent rate is 5 percentage points higher than the overall jobless  rate during the Great Depression.  That’s according to Bob Herbert who details these findings in the New York Times.

What’s the takeaway from this?   Education is more important than ever.  A high school degree or GED alone is not going to be enough to get a job that you can hold onto.   New jobs – and even some old jobs will increasingly require additional knowledge and training.

Fortunately, as I’ve written before here, financing and grants for job training and education are available and only going to become more so, as more jobs disappear.  So don’t automatically write off pursuing certification or a degree just because you’re afraid you won’t be able to pay for it.


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Filed under education ex-offenders, training ex-offenders

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