March 19, 2003
The rise in unemployment rates among more highly educated workers during the recent downturn resembles that of past recessions. However, it appears that workers with more education fared worse than in past downturns relative to less well educated workers.
Since the start of recession in the first quarter of 2001, the unemployment rate for those with less than a high school education rose by 2.1 percentage points and the rate among workers with a high school diploma but no college training rose 1.3 percentage points. These were unemployment rate increases of about one-third over their rates when the recession began.
In contrast, the unemployment rate of those with some college training rose by two-thirds (1.9 percentage points) and the rate for college graduates almost doubled as it rose 1.3 percentage points.