People with university degrees have suffered far fewer job losses so far during this global economic crisis than those who left school without qualifications, according to the latest edition of the OECD’s annual Education at a Glance.
The supply of labour increases with higher educational attainment. While the economic downturn has made substantial portions of the work force idle in many countries, a key to economic growth in the long term is fully using the skills available to the labour market. In response to demand, over the past decades OECD countries have put significant resources into higher education. It is crucial, then, to take advantage of this lead by fully using these resources. Governments therefore need to invest in education. In the long-run, their budgets will benefit from investment in education. The better educated are less likely to need unemployment benefits or welfare assistance, and pay more tax when they enter the job market.
On average across OECD countries, 84% of the population with a tertiary education is employed. Overall, employment rates are more than 27 percentage points higher for those with a tertiary education than for those who have not completed an upper secondary education. Those adults with low educational attainment are both less likely to be participants in the labour force and are more likely to be unemployed.