St. Louis Fed: Conventional wisdom on college degree’s worth is changing Spoiler Campus Talk Spoiler Finance by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) February 16, 2019 11:08 am 341 views Tags: college graduate 12 SHARES Share Tweet A new report by the St. Louis’s Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability notes that while a college degree is usually associated with higher pay and a better financial future, the extent of those benefits today depends on your demographics. In the Center’s report, called “Is College Worth It? It’s Complicated,” the St. Louis Fed’s economic researchers help answer that question by commissioning original research from leading scholars in the fields of economics, sociology, education and public policy. The results of the findings, they said, are rich and varied. “We corroborated the conventional wisdom that, on average, a college degree is associated with higher family income and wealth over one’s lifespan,” William Emmons, the Center’s lead economist, said in a Feb. 7 research note. “However, the extent of the returns depended on several demographic characteristics — most notably, when people were born and their races or ethnicities. In particular, the financial benefits one can expect from a college degree appear to be lower among people born in the 1980s, and they remain unequal across racial and ethnic groups.” Emmons and his research team also found that the likely payoff to a college degree depends on whether you have a college-educated parent. “First-generation college graduates typically receive an income and wealth boost, but they fall short of college grads whose parents also have college degrees,” he said. In the report, the researchers from the Federal Reserve’s expansive Eighth District that includes Arkansas and other Mid-America states examined the income and wealth of college graduates and postgraduate degree holders born between 1930 and 1989 and found two consistent trends. First, the average college and postgrad income premiums, which is the amount a family headed by a four-year or postgrad degree holder earns in excess of an otherwise similar family, have declined somewhat across successive birth-decade cohorts but it remained substantial. In terms of earnings, college is clearly still worth it. This was true for all races and ethnicities, including non-Hispanic white, black, Hispanic and all other families. At the same time, the college “wealth premium” has declined more noticeably over successive generations of college grads and precipitously for people born in the 1980s. “Disturbingly, the wealth benefits of college and postgraduate degrees were much lower among non-white family heads born in the 1970s and 1980s,” the Fed researchers state. “In terms of wealth accumulation, college is not paying off for recent college graduates on average — at least, not yet.” So, is college still worth it? On average — that is, across all birth years, races and ethnicities — college is still worth it in terms of earnings, the Fed researchers conclude. “We found that college and postgrad degree holders generally earn significantly higher incomes than nongrads. However, for recent generations and for non-white students, the payoffs are somewhat lower than average. This is especially true for wealth accumulation. Considering all of the evidence, we conclude that the conventional wisdom about college is not as true as it used to be,” the report stated. U.S. ‘skills gap’ is real: HR professionals can’t find suitable job candidates Spoiler Manufacturing Spoiler Talk Politics by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) February 16, 2019 11:10 am 709 views Tags: workforce skills gap 60 SHARES Share Tweet A recently released report by the nation’s top human resource trade group said the “skills gap” in the U.S. is real and getting worse as four out of five hiring professionals say they’ve had difficulty recruiting suitable candidates in the past year. The recent research from the Society for Human Resource Management, commonly referred to as SHRM, highlights the urgent need to address the training of workers and improve public-policy governing work, officials said. “A majority of Americans (63%) believe what employers facing difficulty in recruiting have known for some time — there is a skills shortage in the workforce,” said SHRM President and CEO Johnny Taylor. “What is now clear is that innovative thinking and resolute action are needed, and public policy must change.” According to the most recent SHRM Skills Gap Survey report, 52% of HR professionals said that the skills gap has worsened or greatly worsened in the past two years. Another 83% said they have noticed a decrease in the quality of job applicants, with one-third citing a lack of needed technical skills. The gap is evident in the trades, middle-skilled positions and highly skilled STEM positions, the report said, with carpentry, plumbing, welding and machining among the technical abilities most lacking in the workforce. Data analysis, science, engineering, medical and finance are other areas in short supply. More than one-quarter of HR respondents said their businesses collaborate with schools to build a pipeline of job candidates. But almost one-half believe that the education system has done very little to help address the issue. For some jobs with labor shortages, employment-based immigration is the right remedy. A supermajority of about 85% of HR respondents to the SHRM Employment-Based Immigration Survey said it was very important to recruit workers regardless of their national origin. While about three-quarters of survey respondents said foreign-born workers contribute positively to U.S. economic growth and help drive innovation, more than one-third said their businesses were challenged by an insufficient number of employment-based visas, such as H-1Bs, to recruit these workers. One-third said the employment-based immigration process was lengthy and complex with unpredictable results. Respondents also called for the removal of roadblocks to ensuring a legal workforce. What is needed now are more employment visas, mandatory E-Verify, and a trusted employer program for low-risk, immigration-compliant companies, the survey said. The SHRM Skills Gap Survey polled 1,028 HR professionals and the SHRM Employment-Based Immigration Survey polled 785 HR professionals. Both were conducted in September 2018. To view the report, click here..