Friday, October 24, 2008

High School dropouts in Pennsylvania

A group called Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children has released a report examining high school dropout rates in the state. The report also examines what high school dropouts typically earn in contrast to other workers.

The study gives more proof to the need of education for a better salary. In fact, the study shows a larger number of high school dropouts earn a wage that keeps them below the poverty line.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children says dropouts are twice as likely to be in poverty than those who have graduated. The average wage for dropouts is $14,982 in Pennsylvania's Lackawanna county.

Here are some other points made in the study as found in Sarah Hofius Hall's article in The Scranton Times Tribune.

In Luzerne County, dropouts earn $16,850, less than half of the $40,333 someone earns with a bachelor’s degree. Monroe County dropouts earn $25,013.

The study cites data from the 2007 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics were not provided for the other Northeast Pennsylvania counties.

Other highlights included:

■ Lackawanna’s unemployment rate is 4 percent for those whose furthest education is a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma. The rate for someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 2.9 percent.

■ The gap widens in Luzerne and Monroe counties. In Luzerne, 10.9 percent of high school dropouts were unemployed, compared to 3.8 percent of high school graduates. In Monroe County, 22.3 percent of high school dropouts were unemployed, compared to 1.6 percent who had a bachelor’s degree.

■ Almost 25 percent of Lackawanna residents who did not complete high school lived in poverty, compared to 6 percent among those who have a bachelor’s degree. The 2008 federal poverty income guideline is $21,200 for a family of four.

■ In Luzerne County, 16.9 percent of high school dropouts live in poverty, more than double the percentage of those who live in poverty who attended some college or have an associate degree.

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