Recovery largely bypassing those without college degrees

Hiring has rebounded quickly for Americans with college degrees, but people with only a high school diploma or less remain deep in crisis mode, even as employers say they are having trouble finding workers, The Washington Post reports. 

Nearly 4 million adult workers without college degrees have not found work again after losing their jobs in the pandemic. Only 199,000 adult workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher are in the same situation, and about 2.4 million adults over 25 with associate’s degrees had a job in February 2020 and have not returned to work a year later.

Even as more restaurants, hotels and other service sector businesses have reopened, hiring has continued to backslide for non-college educated workers over the past few months. In March, for example, the overall economy added back 916,000 jobs. Only 7,000 went to workers with high school diplomas but no college degree.

“There really is an educational divide in the jobs that are coming back now,” says Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. “Women are coming back into the labor force, but it’s the higher-skilled jobs that are coming back for women.” 

This looks increasingly like a two-track recovery, analysts say, with a fast track for the college-educated and a largely slow track for the non-college educated, which only compounds the pain among lower-skilled workers who suffered the most job losses early on in the pandemic as well. Read the full story.