Examining the percentage of adults who have a postsecondary degree misses other types of postsecondary credentials that could be useful in the labor market, such as postsecondary certificates, occupational licenses and occupational certifications.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a new Data Point report today (March 27) entitled Degree and Nondegree Credentials Held by Labor Force Participants. This report examines the rates at which working adults have attained either a postsecondary degree or a postsecondary nondegree credential, including postsecondary certificates, occupational licenses, and occupational certifications. The report uses data from the Adult Training and Education survey, conducted as part of the 2016 National Household Education Survey (NHES) program.
Among the findings:
- Although only 45 percent of working adults have a postsecondary degree, when nondegree credentials are factored in, 58 percent of working adults have some type of postsecondary work credential.
- Among working adults who do not have a postsecondary degree, the most common nondegree credential is an occupational license.
To view the full report, please visit this link to the Data Point handout entitled Degree and Nondegree Credentials Held by Labor Force Participants or cut and paste this URL into an address bar: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2018057.
This March, 2018 report by Andrew Elmore and Muzaffar Chishti from the Migration Policy Institute discusses the widespread practice of employer workplace violations in immigrant-dense industries.
“Immigrants, who account for 17 percent of the U.S. labor force, are twice as likely as native-born workers to be employed in an industry where violations of core labor standards are widespread. These wage-and-hour and safety-and-health law violations can often be traced back to the changing nature of the relationship between low-wage workers and the companies that employ them. For example, the practice of misclassifying workers as “independent contractors” rather than employees—and thus removing them from the protection of many workplace laws and enabling companies to sidestep payroll taxes, unemployment insurance contributions, and workers’ compensation requirements—is common in low-wage industries from construction to transportation.”
Click on this link to access the Migration Policy Institute’s report: Strategic Leverage
Ann Lang, Senior Economist with the Virginia Employment Commission, wrote an article for “Economic Information & Analytics,” which attempted to provide an indication of Virginia’s “gig economy”—a much discussed but hard to define sector of the economy. This analysis is not a comprehensive look at the “gig economy” and is based solely on nonemployer statistics from the Census. Nonemployer statistics are used to gain insight into this sector of the economy, as many gig workers fit the definition of nonemployers. Click on this link to Gig Economy-NonEmployer- Article 2014-15 to read the full text.
Read an excerpt of the article’s summary below:
“Nonemployer businesses run the gamut from old-fashioned family-run corner stores to home-based bloggers,” said William Bostic Jr., the Census Bureau’s associate of for economic programs. “In some cases, the business may be the owner’s primary source of income, such as with real estate agents and physicians, but in other instances, they may operate the business as a side job, such as with babysitting and tutoring.”4
Over the 2010-2015 period, nonemployer establishments in Virginia increased by 66,149 or 13.0 percent, surpassing the national growth of 10.0 percent. While Virginia’s nonemployer firms are growing, they remain smaller in number and economic impact than traditional payroll employment, which increased by almost 200,000, or 5.6 percent. The largest gains in nonemployer establishments over the five year period occurred in transportation and warehousing; other services; professional, scientific, and technical services; and real estate and rental and leasing—all sectors that encompass service activities.
Click on this link to read the full PDF article: Gig Economy-NonEmployer- Article 2014-15
Matthew Burke graduated from high school even though he was reading at about the third-grade level. He got a job as a welder but found his lack of reading skills held him back. Kavitha Cardoza/WAMU
This NPR article from 2013 makes a compelling case statement for funding adult education and literacy programs. The topic is still relevant in 2018. The following is an excerpt from the article:
A ‘Double Expense’
People who struggle to read, write and speak English are sentenced to a lifetime of economic challenges, says Stephen Fuller, an economist with George Mason University in Virginia. He says it’s important to have an educated workforce.
“If we fail, it’s a double expense, ’cause the economy isn’t healthy, and we also have increased social services,” he says.
Fuller says that has enormous costs for society. People with low literacy are more likely to need unemployment checks, food stamps and subsidized housing. And they are more likely to end up behind bars.
To read more, click on this link to Adding Up the Costs. The article, the 4th in a series, leads to three other articles related to adult literacy and the challenges adults face in pursuing their educational and workplace dreams.
Working Hard, But Struggling to Survive
ALICE is a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This is a project of United Ways in Connecticut, Florida, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
ALICE families earn above the federal poverty level, but do not earn enough to afford a bare-bones household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care. The United Way ALICE Reports use new measures to provide a more accurate picture of financial insecurity at the state, county, and municipal level. This link leads to a page on the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration’s site that houses the regional Virginia statistics.
From the U.S. Census Bureau (March, 2015)
In honor of Women’s History Month, the Census Bureau released some fascinating statistics about women in the United States. But, fascinating doesn’t necessarily translate into positive.
The stats include the persistent wage gap that shows women still make just 78 cents to every dollar earned by men as well as the significant disparity of the representation of women in STEM (science technology education, and math), such as in careers like computer programmers, physicians and surgeons, lawyers and judges, police officers, and civil engineers.
These harsh inequality facts are among the reasons why many agencies and the White House [in 2015] have committed to creating more opportunities in STEM (ScienceTechnologyEngineeringMath) for women and girls.
Click on this link to the U.S. Census Bureau to the article, FFF Women’s History Month, March 2015.
An op ed by Angus Deaton in the January 24, 2018 edition of the New York Times, entitled “The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem,” discusses the numbers of U.S. citizens who live in poverty as deep as those in developing nations.
Graphic, New York Times
“When we compare absolute poverty in the United States with absolute poverty in India, or other poor countries, we should be using $4 in the United States and $1.90 in India.
Once we do this, there are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards. This is a small number compared with the one for India, for example, but it is more than in Sierra Leone (3.2 million) or Nepal (2.5 million)…”
The graph above depicts the number of people who live on $4 or less per day and where the U.S. poor sit in relation to the poor in other Western countries.. In the U.S. the plight of the poor is exacerbated by lack of affordable housing. These costs are usually missed by World Bank estimates.
Angus Deaton is a professor of economics and international affairs emeritus at Princeton University, the presidential professor of economics at the University of Southern California and the 2015 Nobel laureate in economics.