The jobs data underscores the divide between college graduates and those without degrees.

By Nelson D. Schwartz

As the economy registered disappointing job growth in September, the divide between those with and without a college education was again stark.

Employment for holders of a bachelor’s degree rose by 169,000, and the unemployment rate for that group fell to 2.5 percent from 2.8 percent in August. By contrast, among those with a high school diploma but no college studies, employment fell by 394,000. Their unemployment rate declined to 5.8 percent from 6 percent, but only because nearly 500,000 people dropped out of the labor market.

Workers without college degrees are lagging behind their prepandemic employment levels.

Percent change in the number of employed people since before the pandemic, by education level

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