Unqualified High School Graduates and the Great Recession

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Unqualified High School Graduates and the Great Recession Even though its beginnings can be traced back to 2007, the most recent great recession is still quite fresh in many people’s minds. A good number of individuals are still experiencing the recession’s negative effects. Why has our economy been so slow to recover from this recession? The answer lies with our workforce. The nation’s high schools are releasing high percentages of unqualified, undereducated students into our workforce. The majority of students graduating from high school are not even qualified for college, let alone being qualified for the higher paying, stable jobs that grow the economy the fastest. The way to grow an economy is with stable high paying jobs. If there is no one to fill these jobs, we will continue to experience a slow recovery from this great recession. In a recent press release, Collegeboard.org revealed that “only 43 percent of SAT takers in the class of 2012 graduated from high school with the level of academic preparedness associated with a high likelihood of college success” (23). This is an alarming statement. If over half of all high school graduates are not prepared to enter into college, they will have no other choice but to enter into the unskilled job market. These types of jobs are not stable, and were the hardest hit during the last recession. Hartley and Mowry reported that the recession showed a sharp decline in the type of jobs that someone without a college degree or high school diploma would hold; construction, hospitality, manufacturing, and service (1). Had those workers in the industries that do not require diplomas or degrees been ready to either attain a college degree, or perhaps put to use an existing one, they would have been able to find work quicker, and begin contributing to the economy faster. The recession has made businesses much more picky
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