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Education at a Glance 2011 OECD Indicators

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently published the annual report, Education at a Glance, which highlights the importance of education and a person’s ability to find a job and earn a good living. The OCDE is an international economic organization comprised of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade

According to this report, the global economic crisis has had a significant impact on people without university degrees. Unemployment rates in 2009 among university graduates stood at 4.4% as compared to 11.5% for people who did not complete high school. Graduation trends indicate that 82% of young people internationally will complete the equivalent of high school, but those failing to graduate will face greater challenges in the job market. Unfortunately, in the United States graduation rates are averaging even less at around 75%. The result is over 50% of 15 to 19 year olds who are not in school are unemployed or out of the labor force.

The report called for increased spending on education based to improve the lives of individuals as well as the economic benefit from counties receive for this investment. Better-educated people were reported to be less likely to require unemployment benefits or need welfare. Additionally, better-educated workers contribute more in taxes. A person with a college education will pay back an average $91,000 in income taxes and social contributions above what the government has invested for his or her degree.

The report found that between 2000 and 2008, education expenditure increased at a faster rate than GDP in 25 of the 32 countries examined. Unfortunately, the current financial climate may have a negative impact on countries future abilities to continue investing in education.

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