Numbers can seem a bit cold. They sometimes don’t tell an entire story, and get so misused and misheard that people don’t see the real story behind the numbers.
We hear — and create — hundreds of statistics over the course of a year having to do with everything from opinions about a hot
topic to quality of life to the satisfaction level of customers at a local store. What’s interesting, though, is that people are often only given one angle of a statistic in the media or campaign platforms, but there are most often multiple factors that contribute to statistical results that naturally result in varying perspectives on those numbers. But you have to take it upon yourself to drill down and look for the real story under the stats and how they affect people, as individuals, and communities, large and small.
One of the hottest statistics of the day…actually of the last several years… and one that lights all kinds of political fires is, of course, unemployment.
Right now, if you check the news, the unemployment rate sits at 8.4%. But it’s important to not stop looking there. Market research analysis breaks that number down further, a much more personal story is told. That 8.4% drops to 4.2% for individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree. And it rises to 13.1% for those who dropped out of high school.
Very interesting, isn’t it?
On a personal level, then, this alone should be a significant reason for individuals to seek out and complete a college education. On top of the lower unemployment rate is also the fact that college-degreed people tend to have a higher standard of living and make significantly more over the course of their lives than people who stopped education at the high school level.
What’s the relationship, then, between these numbers and city and community government? The market research analysis says, if your community or city has a substantial number of college graduates in the work force, it will have a lower unemployment rate overall, which is a major goal of every community. Businesses, especially when economic times are tough, tend to let go of people without college degrees first in layoff situations and tend to hire college graduates over non-degreed people.
This also means if your city’s population has a high percentage of college graduates, it will be more attractive to business, and it will be stronger economically than its neighbors that might have larger numbers of people with high school diplomas only.
So from individuals and families to small communities and even large cities, we’re back to something that has been a bit of an axiom for the last couple of decades…go to college…it only enhances lives.