Home > East Chicago, Economics, Misc > Education Attainment & Unemployment Rate

Education Attainment & Unemployment Rate

For the past five years I have repeatedly spoken about the correlation between Education Attainment and the Unemployment rate and what that means for East Chicagoans. But first some data on East Chicago:

  • Today <2% of East Chicagoans hold a college degree, well below the national average of 24%.
  • ~40% of the Adult population is considered functionally illiterate, with ~70% of adults incapable of attaining a professional job based on reading attainment.
  • Today the unemployment rate in East Chicago is >24%. Despite the efforts of the city to employ ~12% of those in the workforce, serving ~18% of households with a paycheck and ~28% of the electorate with a city job.

For a community like East Chicago the data presented in the graphs below are especially poignant. What I find rather remarkable about the graph is that you can clearly see, in the last 17 years, as educational attainment increases the less vulnerable you are to market fluctuations. You can see how the red line is so much more eradicate with a steep increase in reaction to todays recession. This may begin to flatten out as America rededicates more of it economy to manufacturing. Yet, unlike 20 years ago manufacturing has become an educated affair, requiring at minimum an associates degree.

Forty years ago when nearly 70% of jobs were found in unskilled labor, most East Chicago graduates were able to go to the Mills for one of a 100,000 steel or steel related jobs in East Chicago. Today 70% of jobs are found in professional services that require a College education. With the advances in technology and globalization East Chicago now employs less than 5,000 workers in steel and steel related jobs, all while production has increased a hundred fold. So, if you are preparing a population for where the vast majority of the jobs are (70%), then you are preparing them to receive a College education. That is the easiest solution towards employing a population. The more difficult solution is to find jobs for the under-educated.

via [ Calculated Risk ] In today’s employment market:

  • Those without a High School Diploma face an unemployment rate of ~16%
  • Those with a High School Diploma, but no College face an unemployment rate of ~10%
  • Those with some College or Associates Degree face an unemployment rate of ~8%
  • Those with a Bachelors Degree and higher face an unemployment rate of ~5%

Based on the BLS 2008 data: Education pays

This data does not bode well for East Chicago’s education system (here, and here) which ranks last in the state of Indiana on multiply measures. Indiana has also instituted a Core-40 program to track students and to ensure they receive the necessary skills to succeed. However, Core-40 will leave most East Chicago students without the proper credentials to apply to universities such as Purdue or Indiana University which now require Core-40 Honors. Despite the efforts of non-government agencies most parents of East Chicago freshmen are unaware of these requirements and the process for applying into the proper program. The Challenge is to set up an education system that incentives populations like East Chicago.

Categories: East Chicago, Economics, Misc
  1. Robert
    September 13th, 2009 at 01:07 | #1

    Very well written summary of the issues facing residents of East Chicago and how critical education is to the future of us all!

  2. September 13th, 2009 at 02:31 | #2

    Thank you. It’s one thing to communicate the importance of education to students. It’s a whole neither challenge to communicate it to community leaders, who may or may not have a high school degree themselves, but think re-industrialization will bring back jobs for the under-educated. What they don’t realize is that they are attracting dirty industries without capturing the benefit of jobs for the local population. The benefits will be realized elsewhere.@Robert

  3. July 24th, 2013 at 19:07 | #3

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your site? My blog is in the very same niche as yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of
    the information you provide here. Please let me know
    if this alright with you. Thanks!

  4. August 21st, 2014 at 17:33 | #4

    Hi there Dear, are you actually visiting this web page
    regularly, if so afterward you will definitely obtain fastidious know-how.

  5. October 1st, 2014 at 22:24 | #5

    I’ve a Facebook account, but I feel that it’s a MAJOR
    waste of time.

  6. October 6th, 2014 at 23:28 | #6

    Ensure that you offer exclusive articles that
    is only designed for some people that have subscribed to your page.

  7. December 27th, 2014 at 22:15 | #7

    Neat Web site, Carry on the wonderful work. Thank you so much.

  1. No trackbacks yet.