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CEW explores the links between education, career preparation, and workplace demands. Our research focuses on jobs, skills, and equity with the goal of better aligning education and training with workforce and labor market demand.

Hard Times 2013

MAY 29, 2013

The first edition of Hard Times shows that despite the sluggish recovery, the overall unemployment rates for recent college graduates have dropped 7.9 percent (2010), compared to the 8.9 percent (2009) unemployment rate.

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Career and Technical Education

SEPTEMBER 18, 2012

Getting a Bachelor’s degree is the best way for most workers to make middle-class wages. In this report, however, we show there are 29 million jobs (21% of all jobs) for workers without Bachelor’s degrees. The report also details five major sub-baccalaureate, career and technical education (CTE) pathways: employer-based training, industry-based certifications, apprenticeships, postsecondary certificates, and associate’s degrees.

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The College Advantage

SEPTEMBER 15, 2012

Many of the stories you’ve heard about the Great Recession often involve the plight of college graduates, or stories about how men and women have fared differently in the recession and recovery. In The College Advantage, we argue that college degrees have served as protection for Americans seeking shelter during a tough economic storm.

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A Decade Behind

JULY 31, 2012

In order for the South to get out of the low-skill low-wage trap, it will need to invest in education and postsecondary training to break the cycle. We provide projections of education and employment containing a state-by-state analysis of 17 southern states through 2020.

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JUNE 21, 2012

In Healthcare, we provide detailed analysis and projections of healthcare fields, occupations, and their wages. In addition, we discuss the important skills and work values associated with healthcare fields and occupations. Finally, We analyze the implications of our findings for the racial, ethnic, and class diversity of the healthcare workforce in the coming decade.

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JUNE 6, 2012

Certificates are the fastest growing postsecondary credential, and second only to Bachelor’s degrees in the number earned each year. In this report, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the returns to certificates and who earns them.

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Hard Times 2012

JANUARY 4, 2012

In Hard Times, we argue that college remains the best alternative for young workers with one caveat: Not all majors are created equal. Some majors offer substantially better employment prospects than others.

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Career Clusters

NOVEMBER 14, 2011

In Career Clusters, we examine which sectors of the labor market afford individuals the best route to a middle class income. Using forecasts, we identify the most promising clusters for job seekers with a high school diploma or less, middle skills such as a certificate or Associate’s degree, and those with Bachelor’s degrees or better.

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OCTOBER 20, 2011

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics workers are the source of growth and innovation, but meeting the economy’s demand for these critical skills will be challenging.

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The Midwest Challenge

SEPTEMBER 13, 2011

This report finds that the twelve Midwestern states are no longer dependent on manufacturing. New jobs in the region will be in high-skill service industries such as education and healthcare.

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The College Payoff


College pays off over a lifetime, but occupation, gender, race and ethnicity matter too. The College Payoff also details how some workers can make more than their better-educated counterparts.

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The Undereducated American

JUNE 26, 2011

The United States has been under producing college-educated workers for 30 years, and is paying for it with increased income inequality.

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What’s It Worth?: The Economic Value of College Majors

MAY 24, 2011

This report details the relationships between major, gender, race/ethnicity, attending graduate school, and earnings.

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Help Wanted

JUNE 15, 2010

Landmark report shows where the jobs will be, by education level, occupation and industry through 2018, and how postsecondary education is increasingly essential to middle class earnings.

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