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Labor Market Improving for Those Without Formal Education - 11/20/15

The U.S. labor market has now improved to the point that people without significant formal educational attainment are beginning to progress.  The unemployment rate for those who are at least twenty-five years old and lack a high school diploma declined to seven point four percent in October, a sharp drop from seven point nine percent in September according to the U.S. Labor Department. 

Last year, the unemployment rate averaged nine percent for high school dropouts compared with six percent for high school graduates who did not go on to college.  As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the unemployment rate for Americans with at least a bachelor’s degree averaged just three point two percent last year.  The unemployment rate for those lacking a high school degree has been in decline though more of these folks are looking for work. 

The labor force participation rate for those who are twenty five years or older with less than a high school diploma is now approaching forty six percent, up from forty percent during the second quarter.  The participation rate is set to climb further in November as Walmart and other major retailers step up holiday season hiring.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.