FACTBOX: Education and unemployment in America

Wed Aug 5, 2009 3:31pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Many white-collar professionals are fighting for jobs in the United States, with some taking pay cuts or hanging tough in faltering businesses they run themselves in the face of the recession.

Employment options and income are still tied to education. Workers at the bottom of that barrel face grimmer prospects, not least because of the millions of blue-collar manufacturing jobs that have been lost.

Here are some facts and figures about unemployment and educational attainment in the United States:

* Department of Labor data show that among high school dropouts over the age of 25, the unemployment rate in June 2009 was 15.5 percent -- almost double the June 2008 rate of 8 percent.

* In June 2009, the comparable unemployment rate for high school graduates with no college was 9.8 percent, or just over the national average of 9.5 percent.

* For those with some college or what is called an associate degree, it was 8 percent; and for those with a bachelor's degree or more it was 4.7 percent, or about half the national average.

* The unemployment rate for young people 16 to 19 years of age is 27.8 percent. Many young people complain they compete for even low-paying summer jobs with adults without work.

(Sources: Reuters; U.S. Department of Labor)

(Compiled by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Howard Goller)