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National Projections

**Carnevale, A. P., Smith, N., & Strohl, J. (2010, June). Help wanted: Projections of jobs and education requirements through 2018. Washington, DC: Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University. (Executive summary and pp. 3–9). Available at and

This executive summary argues that despite structural changes in the global economy that will make postsecondary education increasingly important, by 2018 the U.S. will produce at least 3 million fewer postsecondary graduates than needed. The excerpt included here presents a series of maps and tables that illustrate the breakdown of total jobs requiring different levels of educational attainment across states in 2018. One map shows that Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, and Texas will lead the nation in jobs that require less than a high school diploma. 

**Carnevale, A. P., Rose, S. J., & Cheah, B. (2011, August). The college payoff: Education, occupations, lifetime earnings. Washington, DC: Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University. (Executive summary). Available at

The authors outline four “rules” to describe how education and earnings interact in the U.S. economy. Rule 1: Degree level matters. Bachelor’s degree-holders earn 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma. Rule 2: Occupational choice can trump degree level. Some occupations, such as engineering, pay more than others, regardless of educational attainment. Rule 3: Degree level still matters most within individual occupations. Within an occupation, most workers with higher educational attainment make more than those with lower educational attainment. Rule 4: Race/ethnicity and gender are wild cards that matter more than education or occupation in determining earnings. At the same level of educational attainment, women make less than men and African Americans and Latinos make less than Whites and Asians.

Carnevale, A. P., et al. (2011, November). Career clusters: Forecasting demand for high school through college jobs.Washington, DC: Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University. (Executive summary). Available at

The authors forecast job trends in different groupings of career technical education (CTE), identifying higher-paying jobs for different levels of educational attainment. The manufacturing sector provides the highest paying jobs for those with a high school diploma or less. However, the overall share of employment opportunities requiring a high school diploma or less is projected to decrease for all career clusters by 2018. The highest paying jobs for those with some college or an associate’s degree are in the business, management, and administration fields as well as in manufacturing. The highest paying sector for those with a bachelor’s degree is in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In short, going to college leads not only to higher wages, but also to better jobs and more opportunities.

Holzer, H. J., Lane, J. I., Rosenblum, D. B., & Andersson, F. (2011). Introduction and background. In Where are all the good jobs going? What national and local job quality and dynamics mean for U.S. workers (pp. 1–16). New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Available for purchase at

Examining labor market trends, the authors find that “good jobs”—characterized by high wages, benefits, and permanence—are not disappearing, but their character and location are evolving over time. For example, the market is producing fewer good manufacturing jobs and more good technical and professional service jobs, in areas such as finance. The chapter includes summaries of the main points covered in the book. For instance, a chapter focusing on metropolitan labor markets argues that smaller markets that have experienced major economic restructuring have less growth at the top of the earning distribution and struggle to replace good jobs that they have lost.

**This document is considered a priority reading.