MA becomes first state with majority college educated workforce

Courtsey Photo

Courtsey Photo

Massachusetts has added another chapter to its history as the nation's leader in education, becoming the first state ever with 50 percent of its workforce holding a bachelor's degree, according to MassBudget's new report, "Education and State Economic Strength: A Snapshot of Current Data." The study highlights the ever-strengthening link between educational attainment and strong state economies.
 
Massachusetts and New Jersey have the two best-educated workforces and the two highest median wage levels in the United States. Nationwide, 35.5 percent of the labor force holds a college degree, compared to 50.2 percent in Massachusetts. The U.S. median wage in 2016 was $17.80; in Massachusetts it was $21.22.

The report also finds a strong connection between educational attainment and earnings within Massachusetts. Among the state's 25 largest cities and towns, those with the highest rates of college-degree attainment have the highest household incomes while those with the lowest prevalence of college degrees have the lowest household incomes. Expanding educational opportunity can help a lot of young people and strengthen our economy, but it won't by itself ensure that economic growth leads to rising wages for working people.
 
The report's findings demonstrate that since 1979, inflation-adjusted wage growth overall has been flat or weak for most Massachusetts workers, including those with a college education. But over nearly four decades there has been growth in the "college wage premium" - the additional amount earned by workers with a college degree compared to those who have not attended college. By 2016, the median wage for Massachusetts workers with a college degree was twice that of workers with no more than a high school diploma.

The link to the MassBudget report is here: http://massbudget.org/report_window.php?loc=Education-and-State-Economic-Strength%20-A-Snapshot-of-Current-Data.html