The link between education and earnings is clear. At each increased level of educational attainment, there is a significant increase in average wage. At its basic level, obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalency increases a Missouri workers average annual wage by two-thirds when compared to those without a high school degree or equivalence. Those attaining a Bachelor’s degree or higher education, on average, earn almost twice as much than those with a high school degree or equivalence.
Not only does a higher educational attainment level lead to higher wages, but it also provides an increased opportunity for employment. At each increasing level of educational attainment, unemployment rates steadily decline. In fact, those with less than a high school diploma or its equivalence are unemployed at a rate nearly three times as great as those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher. At every step along the way, increasing ones level of educational attainment not only increases their annual wage potential, but it also increases the likelihood of finding a career in ones chosen field.
|Education Attained||Unemployment Rate in 2015||Median Weekly Earnings in 2015|
|Some college, no degree||5.0%||$738|
|High school diploma||5.4%||$678|
|Less than a high school diploma||8.0%||$493|
|Note: Data are for persons age 25 and over. Earnings are for full-time wage and salary workers.|
*Product funded by the U.S. Employment and Training Administration, Workforce Information Grant (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Current Population Survey (CPS) data)