Education matters

September 2, 2012
   
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Wages vary greatly with education levels in Ohio, as in the rest of the country. Ohio workers with at least a bachelor’s degree earned $23.78 in 2011, a full $10 an hour more than workers with just some college, who earned $13.79 an hour. Workers with less than a high school degree earned only $9.10 an hour at the median in 2011 in Ohio. Wages have grown for workers with at least a bachelor’s degree since 1979 but have fallen for every other category of worker in Ohio, including those with some college. These drops have been steep – more than $2.00 per hour for workers with some college and a staggering $5.84 per hour for workers without a high school degree (in inflation-adjusted 2011 dollars).

Ohioans have gotten the message that education matters, and, despite high costs for higher education, have increased their education levels. In 1979 just one third (33.6 percent) of the Ohio labor force had some college or a BA. By 2011, well over half (56.3 percent) of the labor force had completed some college or a BA. Similarly, level of high school completion has risen – where once nearly a quarter of Ohio workers hadn’t completed high school, now more than 90 percent have. Nonetheless, our education levels remain behind those of the most affluent states like Massachusetts and Connecticut.

 

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