The government has released its monthly unemployment report, and the jobless rate went down for the sixth time in the last seven months. If you go inside those numbers you’ll see that one of the biggest predictors of unemployment is education.
For those with only a high school diploma, the unemployment rate is about the national average. Compare that to those with a college degree. Their unemployment rate is about half the national average. And if you never completed high school, the numbers are bleak: 50 percent higher than the national average. So the message here is clear: If you can manage to get a college degree, your chances of getting a job, and keeping it, are better.
Easier said than done, though. For a host of reasons — economic, social, personal — America’s high school graduation rate ranks 21st out of 28 of the world’s leading economic powers.
Rick Karr reports from Philadelphia on an innovative program designed to bring drop-outs back to school. Our story is a part of “American Graduate,” a public media initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, to help local communities across America find solutions to address the dropout crisis.