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March 2018- Minnesota Economic Trends

The cover story in this issue of Trends looks at the value of a postsecondary education in terms of earnings and examines how factors such as gender, age and race affect who is likely to earn a degree. Choice of major and the financial impact of dropping out of school early also are analyzed.

Other stories in this issue look at the gender gap and education, the importance of seasonally adjusting employment figures, and the Eligible Training Providers List, which helps people make decisions about training programs and careers.

Download the full pdf file or select the links below to view individual stories.

Letter from the Editor

The cover story in this issue of Trends looks at the value of a postsecondary education in terms of earnings and examines how factors such as gender, age and race affect who is likely to earn a degree. Choice of major and the financial impact of dropping out of school early also are analyzed.

College Has Value Even for Non-completers

Thousands of students will head off to postsecondary school this year in Minnesota, but many won’t make it to graduation. In this story, DEED analyst Alessia Leibert examined the labor market outcomes of all students who entered higher education in Minnesota over the last 10 years, including dropouts. The evidence shows that starting college but not making it all the way to a credential could still be worth the investment of time and tuition.

Connecting Careers and Education

All states are required under the federal law to maintain a list of institutions, programs and courses known as the Eligible Training Providers List. This list ensures that Minnesotans can find quality training programs that provide credentials upon completion.

Seasonal Shifts

Minnesota’s monthly employment level undergoes regular fluctuations during the year because of weather, major holidays, annual opening and closing of schools, and even the State Fair. That’s why economists use a statistical technique called seasonal adjustment to accurately gauge the direction and strength of the economy.

Why Seasonal Adjusting is Valuable

A clear divining of labor market conditions requires some method of distinguishing what part of a change is typical “for this time of year” and how much might be atypical and therefore indicative of real change.

Education and the Gender Gap

Men earn more than women at every level of educational attainment. The male-female earnings gap can range from 31 percent when both have a bachelor’s degree to 17 percent at the master’s degree level and 18 percent when they both have doctorates. Why men and women with the same education earn unequal pay is the subject of much debate and will need further research.

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