CEW Summer 2015 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As the Center has moved into directly working with states, we have been confronted with questions about how many college graduates the economy needs.

The evidence demonstrates clearly that the economic value of a college education has increased substantially and that the economy needs more college graduates, not fewer. However, we continue to encounter skepticism, primarily due to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) describing the minimum requirements for entering a given occupation. In isolation, the BLS’ entry-level education requirements suggest that the economy needs many fewer college graduates than the Center’s projections show. 

The BLS data suggest that there are 22 million adults in this country who attained a college degree but didn’t need it. But the economy did need these college graduates, who earn an average of $55,000 a year, much more than the average high school graduate. 

The fault does not lie with BLS but with the people who misuse their data. A top BLS official recently stated that “the data produced on education and training requirements by BLS are not intended to gauge the need for higher education among future workers.”

The Center is the only public-facing body that projects workforce demands for postsecondary certificates and degrees. The BLS data, however, continues to be misinterpreted as projections that can negatively impact the growing number of states interested in setting goals for postsecondary credentials tied to labor market demand. For example, the state of Minnesota earlier this year set a statewide goal to increase the number of residents who hold postsecondary degrees or certificates to 70 percent by 2025. While 60 percent of the state’s workers already have some postsecondary credentials, the BLS data suggests that only 35 percent of workers need postsecondary education. This can’t be true, given the high attainment levels already existing in the state.

We have developed a table to help illustrate the differences between U.S. Census Bureau data, BLS data and CEW’s data for all 50 states. In all cases, our projections and the Census data show education levels that are twice as high as the BLS data. Check it out

The table shows clearly that the BLS data cannot be interpreted as goals for postsecondary educational attainment. We thank you for your attention in this matter and hope you find this newsletter informative. 

Best wishes,

Jeff Strohl
Research Director


Do You Need a Bachelor's Degree to Join the Middle Class? Speaker Series 
University of Nebraska Board Meeting
Hispanic-Serving Institutions and the Viability of a Federal Rating System Panel 
Dr. Carnevale participated in the American Institutes for Research’s speaker series May 18th. The series, “Do You Need a Bachelor's’ to Join the Middle Class?” featured a discussion between Carnevale and VP of American Institutes for Research Mark S. Schneider on education and mobility research. Their discussion explored the value of a college degree by comparing earnings by state and pathways to economic success. 
University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds and three members of the Board of Regents met May 19th with Dr. Carnevale to discuss “The Economy Goes to College.” During their visit to Washington, D.C., they discussed issues facing higher education with policymakers and leading thinkers. Dr. Carnevale discussed how economic value is created in the workforce, companies, and industries and how that has changed over time. 
The Capitol Hill Policy Briefing Series took place March 16th. Dr. Carnevale spoke in the session, "Hispanic-Serving Institutions and the Viability of a Federal Rating System" at the Cannon House Office Building. McDonald’s Graduate Fellow Felix Muniz Jr. moderated a five-person panel. Policymakers and speakers addressed issues concerning the quality of college and affordability in the context of the Obama adminstration’s plan to implement a Postsecondary Institutional Rating System (PIRS).
State Online College Job Market:
Ranking the States
          The Economy Goes
        to College
The Economic Value of College Majors
April 22, 2015- This report ranks the states by how many job openings there are per college-educated worker within industries and career fields. The report finds that college graduates seeking work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers have the best odds in Delaware, Massachusetts, and New York.
April 13, 2015- This report analyzes long-term changes in how goods and services are produced. The report finds that college-educated workers now produce more than half of the nation’s annual economic value.
May 7, 2015- This report features an interactive tool that allows users to compare the highest- and lowest-paid majors. The full report includes a detailed analysis of the undergraduate majors that are most likely to lead to advanced degrees and the economic benefit of earning an advanced degree.
Nursing: Education, Demography, and Wages
Good Jobs Are Back
The Center's second report about the growing nursing profession examines wages by education level, specialty, and gender across time. It also examines trends in the demographic makeup of the nursing workforce over recent years and the role of  foreign-born nurses.
In this report, we analyze the jobs created in the economic recovery by wages. We find that since 2010 the economy has produced 6.6 million jobs, 2.9 million in high-wage occupations and 1.8 million in low-wage occupations. 
 Bill Gates cites CEW research on his blog, Gatesnotes. Gates solidifies that college is the surest path to success. But a pressing issue that the US faces is that more than 36M Americans don’t finish college. 
Watch CNN Money's  video about the 10- lowest paying majors. It features Value of a College Major data to spotlight which majors students should possibly avoid.
Are you considering looking for a new job? Senior Economist Nicole Smith shares her advice on finding a job related to your major on Yahoo! Finance. She advises people to look at their skill set, analyze where their skills can be transferable and find related jobs.
Business Insider compared The Economic Value of College Majors data to salaries of 800,000 workers and found some liberal arts jobs pay as well as STEM careers. 
 Bloomberg Business explains why big businesses send employees to college. Dr. Carnevale says they are competing to attract the "cream of the crop". 
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