It is so annoying when the economy refuses to listen to what the economists say it should be doing. In this case, it seems to be ignoring the insistence that new jobs require more education and typically a college degree.

The problem is that in the last four years the employment-to-population ratio has actually been rising for people with just a high school degree while it is has fallen slightly for people with college degrees.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since January of 2013, the employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) for people with just a high school degree has risen by almost two percentage points while it has fallen by almost one percentage point for college grads. This certainly doesn't fit the simple story of people needing more education for the jobs being created in today's economy.

Obviously, there are other factors at play here, but the most obvious one, the retirement of the baby boom generation, should work the other way. The people who reached retirement age during the last four years were disproportionately less educated, which should depress the EPOP of workers with just high school degrees relative to college grads.

To be clear, people with college degrees are undoubtedly better off in today's labor market than those with less education. Their overall employment is 72 percent, compared to just 55 percent for high school grads. And, they get paid much more when they do work. But at least by the EPOP measure, it does not appear that the labor market is being increasingly tilted in their favor as often claimed.