A Low-Skill Trap Lurks in the South
A Georgetown University study indicates an impending stall in the need for post-high-school education in the South, which, in spiraling entropy means also a reduction in the number of people who pursue education through high school and beyond and a continuation of economic hardship in the region.
That’s the bad news. The somewhat better news is that Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, and the District of Columbia seem to be sidestepping that trend.
By 2020, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 65 percent of jobs in the U.S. overall will require education beyond the high school level. That number drops to 57 percent in much of the southern U.S. The result is “low-wage/low-skill equilibrium” whereby corporations choose to locate elsewhere, in areas of the country having higher education levels.
Although employment rates currently look somewhat rosier in the South (20 percent job growth) than nationwide (17 percent growth), chances for a full recovery are less sanguine, since government, retail, healthcare, and resource extraction are the strongest job sectors in the region. The unwillingness of other industries to move in is likely to prolong the current recession, which is likely to shrivel retail and construction employment opportunities, notes Virginia Business.