A time of endings and beginnings

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 16, 2014

It seems as though life is divided into seasons. There are the seasons of the year; fall, winter, spring and summer.  Then those prescribed by the sports our children play, or that we enjoy watching live and on TV, such as football, baseball, basketball and soccer. Then there are those that are predicated by state rules like deer season, turkey season, etc.  But the month of May is Graduation Season!

This season is a time of endings and beginnings. Those graduating from Poplarville, Picayune or Pearl River Central are ending that phase of life and looking forward to a new chapter in life by enrolling in college or starting a job.  Those graduating from Pearl River Community College are most likely entering the workforce or transferring to a four-year university.  And finally the four-year graduates will be seeking to begin a career, or possibly go on to graduate school.

For those graduating at any level and looking at starting a career, the labor market is offering more opportunity as a graduation gift.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes statistics on the unemployment rate in the United States by educational attainment level. The most recent report issued in March indicates that overall the unemployment rate in our country is at 6.1percent.  But those with college degrees fare much better than those without.

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Workers with an Associate’s degree were unemployed at a rate of only 5.4 percent while those with a Bachelor’s Degree were even lower at 4 percent. Moving on up the educational attainment ladder shows that those with a Master’s Degree had a rate of 3.4 percent, a Professional Degree 2.3 percent and Doctoral Degree 2.2 percent. On the other end of the curve, those with less than a high school diploma had an unemployment rate of 11 percent a high school diploma 7.5 percent and finally some college but no degree 7 percent

As far as wages go, the report verifies that education pays!  The median weekly earnings for those with an Associate’s degree is $777; Bachelor’s degree $1,108; Master’s degree $1,329; Professional degree $1,714; and Doctoral degree $1,623.  The other end of this curve finds those with less than a high school diploma earned a median wage of $472; a high school diploma $651; and some college but no degree $727.

So as we enter this wonderful Graduation Season, let us take time to congratulate all of our graduates.

Take time to encourage our local high school graduates to enjoy the moment, celebrate the ending and to take the next step to a new beginning by entering college.

It requires time and commitment, but the pay back will lead to many new beginnings in life!

By Scott Alsobrooks