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FUTURE SHOCK: By 2020, 65 Percent of Jobs to Require Postsecondary Education, Only 36 Percent of Jobs Expected to Be Open to High School Graduates, Finds New Report

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“African Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts and three times as likely to be unemployed if they are young,” the report notes.

By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs—compared to 28 percent in 1973—will require some form of postsecondary education, according to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. At the other end of the education spectrum, the percentage of jobs requiring a high school diploma or less will continue to shrink. According to the report, Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020, 72 percent of jobs were open to high school graduates in 1973; by 2020, that percentage is expected to fall to just 36 percent, as shown in the below graph from the report.

future shock

 

In addition to looking at the job market of the future, the report examines the impact that the Great Recession of 2007 has had on the current job market, finding that the slow recovery has disproportionately affected young people and individuals of color.

“African Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts and three times as likely to be unemployed if they are young,” the report notes. “All Americans younger than age twenty-four are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as the rest of the working-age population.”

The report finds that the nation has recovered approximately 6.1 million of the 8.7 million jobs that were lost in the recession, but adds that the jobs that were lost look nothing like the ones that are coming back.

“In short, the U.S. economy is slowly returning to normal—albeit a new normal—characterized by an increase in the natural rate of unemployment, permanent job losses in sectors employing the less-educated, and an ever-increasing demand for better education credentials and upskilling across an array of new fields,” the report reads.

According to the report, the skills most valued in today’s economy are leadership; communications, including speaking and reading comprehension skills; and analysis, which includes critical thinking and coordination. “Of all occupations, 96 percent require critical thinking and active listening to be either very important or extremely important to success,” the report notes.

Recovery: Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020 includes an executive summary, a national report card, and an analysis for every state and the District of Columbia. It is available at http://cew.georgetown.edu/recovery2020.

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