Andrew M. Sum, Joan Fitzgerald
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Arts and Sciences. Law, Policy, and Society Program.
Political science, Economics, Unemployment
Law and Society
Workers with more education have historically experienced lower unemployment rates than workers with less education. An analysis of recent data, however, indicates that the difference in unemployment rates by educational attainment appears to be shrinking. During the early 1980's recession, workers with less than a high school education experienced a sharp increase in unemployment with the increase in unemployment increasingly smaller the more schooling received. Although the percentage point increases in unemployment rates were not as large, the 1990's recession exhibited a similar trend by educational attainment. The recession in 2001, however, revealed a noticeably different pattern. Each education group experienced roughly the same percentage point increase in unemployment. Workers with some college education as well as those with a Bachelor's degree experienced a greater percentage point increase change in unemployment relative to those with less education, suggesting that increases in unemployment may now be shared more ""democratically"" across educational attainment groups. This change in the profile of unemployment has been driven by changes in the industrial and occupational composition of the economy, the peculiar nature of recent economic shocks as well as the educational composition of the workforce in general. Data suggest that this trend may continue in future recessions.
Mark L. Yunger
Yunger, Mark L., "The democratization of unemployment" (2009). Law, Policy, and Society Dissertations. Paper 10. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10018190
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