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Thanks to Calculated Risk for this chart. Note the huge divergence between unemployment rates by educational level. Those with less than a high school education saw their unemployment spike from 8% at the beginning of the recesssion to 15% currently. Now look at those with a college degree or higher -- they are still at "technical" full employment -- they have an unemployment rate at about 5%.
In a recent article I wrote on the employment situation I noted the following:
Totaling construction and manufacturing jobs we get ~6 million. In other words, about 73% of the jobs lost during this recession came from two economic sectors -- construction and manufacturing.
This is a blue collar recession in a big way. Most importantly, a lot of these jobs aren't coming back. Manufacturers are replacing people with machines on a regular basis and construction will be at low levels for some time.
In other words, we really need to come up with a plan B for most of the unemployed.