Matter of Fact: Higher Education, Lower Unemployment

News Date: 5/9/2012

Contact: Jennifer Miller (; 518-436-4781) or Terri Standish-Kuon (

Matter of Fact: Higher Education, Lower Unemployment

Albany, NY – Higher levels of education are related to lower unemployment rates and higher personal incomes, according to recent data analyzed by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU).

Based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor, in the period from January to July 2012, the average unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher was 4.1 percent, compared to 7.4 percent for those with an associate’s degree or some college; 8.3 percent for high school graduates with no college, and 12.8 percent for those with less than a high school diploma.

In 2010, workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher, averaged more than $78,000 per year; workers with an associate’s degree earned approximately $49,000 per year; and those without a high school diploma averaged approximately $29,000 per year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Independent Sector of higher education produced 52 percent of the bachelor’s degrees earned in New York State in 2010-11; 71 percent of the master’s degrees; and 79 percent of the doctorate and professional degrees, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

“College graduates are more likely to have jobs, as well as earn more over their lifetimes,” said Laura L. Anglin, president of CICU. “Beyond the economic benefits, higher education prepares students to be responsible citizens and to engage with the world around them. On the whole, college graduates volunteer more, vote more often, and participate more in their communities.”

Click here to download the chart.

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About the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU): CICU is a statewide association representing the public policy interests of the chief executives of more than 100 independent colleges and universities in New York State. Founded in 1956 by a small group of private, not-for-profit college and university presidents, the Commission on Independent Colleges and  Universities (CICU) now represents 100+ independent campuses across New York State. CICU is an educational corporation formed under the New York State Regents. Its mission is to develop consensus among a diverse membership and to advance higher education public policy. Follow us on Twitter:

CICU’s “Matter of Fact” is a series of electronic charts–sent via email and posted to the web–devoted to interesting observation and data related to independent higher education in New York State. Using timely analysis of key higher education and economic data, recent issues have examined graduation rates, campus sustainability, and R&D expenditures. To view past charts, visit: