The Learning Agency recently published a report, Education and Income: How Learning Boosts Salary, by Ulrich Boser. Key takeaways appear below:
The U.S. is in the midst of an economic downturn resulting from COVID-19, with potential long lasting effects on workers and the American labor market. Unemployment is at its highest point since the Great Depression with over 44.2 million Americans filing for benefits. Despite massive government assistance, fiscal recovery will be a daunting process, requiring innovative solutions.
The United States must consider new strategies to fortify its labor market. Major investments are necessary from the federal government to boost the American economy. For there to be any chance of recovery in the coming years, states and the federal government would be wise to invest funds in training and education.
More spending on schools may sound at first counterintuitive. After all, many states are cutting back on public services to balance budgets. Funding is being slashed for education in many areas. Yet it cannot be understated: education and retraining in key skills are instrumental to a competitive labor force and national economy.
Consider the following:
- Graduating with a high school diploma is equivalent to an additional almost $7,000 in annual salary.
- Better math skills can increase salary by $21,000 per year.
- Improvement in reading and writing skills could spark an $11,000 increase in annual salary.
- National and state-level economic impact of increased learning is more than $200 billion per year.