In a front page piece, the Post asked why, given the economy's recovery, so many less-educated workers don't have jobs? There is a very simple answer that could have saved the lives of many trees. The economy has not recovered much. While the unemployment rate has fallen by almost two percentage points from its peak in late 2009, the employment rate (EPOP), the percentage of people with jobs has risen by just 0.6 percentage points. (This adjusts for a change in population controls that reduced the EPOP by 0.3 percentage points from December to January.)

This means that almost two-thirds of the drop in the unemployment rate has been due to people dropping out of the workforce (and therefore not being counted as unemployed), not people getting jobs. Measured in terms of employment, the economy has improved very little from its trough, therefore it is not surprising that less-educated workers, like more educated workers, are still having difficulty finding jobs.

The unemployment rate for the 30 percent of the workforce with college degrees is still more than twice its pre-recession level. If the Post had done its homework it would know that the problem is not the skill levels of unemployed workers, the problem is the skill level of people who make economic policy.

Employment to Population Ratio

 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.