Employment and earning prospects of non-college-bound workers depend on training, occupation, and where they live, say Cleveland Fed researchers

Study looks at 100 largest U.S. metros, highlights eight in Ohio and Pennsylvania

Roughly 66 percent of workers in the U.S. did not have a 4-year college degree in 2011. According to recent research, the employment and earnings prospects of these workers will vary widely depending not only on their subsequent training and occupations, but also on where they live.

In a new study, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland researchers Francisca G.-C. Richter and Lisa Nelson look at how the patterns of employment, wages, and education of eight metro areas in the Bank’s district—Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Pittsburgh, Toledo, and Youngstown—compare to the 100 largest metros in the nation (see table)

Among their findings:

The authors conclude that, “Investments in education at the lower levels -- high school and younger -- clearly matter. Increasing high-school graduation rates and facilitating access to post-secondary education that is in line with local labor demands should give non-college-bound workers higher chances of reaping the social returns to education.“

Read The Prospects of Non-College-Bound-Workers in the Fourth District. Also check out our related data briefs for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh MSAs as well as for metro areas in Kentucky.

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Workforce development system in Ohio fragmented and complex, according to Cleveland Fed report

In addition to analyzing the relationship between education and job prospects, we also set out to learn more about Ohio’s workforce development system. The Cleveland Fed’s Community Development team talked with individuals across Ohio about the biggest challenges facing employers, educators, and job seekers. Read their findings in Workforce Development Challenges in Ohio.