Unemployment Falls Fast in U.S. If Men Get College Degree”

Bloomberg; April 11, 2012

After serv­ing time in a Virginia prison fol­low­ing con­vic­tions on gun and drug-pos­ses­sion charges, Sean Collins-Harris decid­ed he would fight the odds against his ever return­ing to white-col­lar work with the only tool he had: edu­ca­tion.  Today, Collins-Harris has a master’s degree and works for a prop­er­ty-man­age­ment com­pa­ny in Virginia Beach. It took a per­son­al crash that land­ed him inside St. Brides Correctional Center in Chesapeake, Virginia, where he says he buffed floors for 27 cents an hour, for Collins-Harris to under­stand what so many young American men don’t.


The U.S. work­place is polar­iz­ing between the edu­ca­tion haves and have-nots, says David Autor, pro­fes­sor of eco­nom­ics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. So-called mid­dle-skill jobs, typ­i­cal­ly well-pay­ing work that doesn’t require exten­sive high­er edu­ca­tion, are van­ish­ing, divid­ing the labor force into high- and low-skill posi­tions. While women are mov­ing up the knowl­edge lad­der, male edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment is grow­ing at a slow­er rate.”


By Craig Torres