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Education Woes At Heart Of Long-Term Unemployment

August 15, 2010

This morning on ABC’s “This Week” a point was made again that needs better recognition as the nation seeks to remedy the unemployment woes.  Education, education, education is at the heart of the problem of the long-term unemployed.  One of those commenting today was Laura Tyson, a member of the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

TYSON: And then, finally, we have to worry about the longer-run problem of this structural employment, because I’m going to point out one thing for this discussion. The unemployment problem is primarily a problem for people who have a high school — who don’t have a high school education or just have a high school education.

Unemployment for those with college educations is now 4.5 percent. Unemployment for those with more than a college education, below 4 percent. We have a problem of education in this country, and we have to educate more of our young people fully through college education. Let’s take this as an opportunity to do that.

Let me turn to investment in education. It is the case — we used to be number one in the world in college graduation rates. We are now number 14, number 15. We’re leading the world in high school dropout rates. And as I said, the unemployment problem is most severe in dropouts.

So invest in people. Invest in infrastructure. Invest in knowledge

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