Despite gains in employment, uneducated workers are still three times more likely to be unemployed than college-educated workers. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 8.2% in March, which is a large improvement over the near-record high of 10.2% two years ago. While unemployment rates have improved for most workers, the least educated workers are still suffering more than others.
For example, the Labor Deparment's most recent report shows that the unemployment rate among high school drop-outs is 12.6%. The unemployment rate among college graduates is only 4.2%.
Alabama has the sixth highest percentage of uneducated workers in the U.S., which has negatively affected the employability of the state's labor market. Only Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia have more uneduated workers than Alabama does.
The reasons for the different unemployment rates, economically speaking, are found within the dynamics of supply and demand in the labor market. College graduates are relatively scarce compared to workers of lesser education levels. A low supply of college graduates means that companies tend to lay them off a a slower rate.
The demand side of the labor market also works in favor of college graduates. Many jobs require a college degree or higher, such as jobs in accounting, finance, health care, and education. Demand remains relatively high for skilled workers in these industries. A high demand, coupled with a low supply, leads to not only higher salaries, but also higher levels of employment as well.
So one of the best things you can do to improve your employability is focus on what you have to offer an employer. Increasing the breadth of your skills, either through education or training, will help you not only land a job, but will also help you keep the job once you are in it.
For more information on Alabama's employment situation, click here