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Friday, 12th December 2008

California Faces Growing Shortage of College-Educated Workers

California Faces Growing Shortage of College-Educated Workers
Source: Public Policy Institute of California

California’s need for college-educated workers is outpacing the state’s ability to produce them, and the gap is expected to widen in the future, a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) concludes.

Four in 10 (41%) California workers will need a bachelor’s degree to meet the state’s projected economic demand in the year 2025 if current trends continue. But changes in the workforce make this an unlikely outcome. Although the percentage of college-educated workers has increased significantly in recent years — from 28 percent in 1990 to 34 percent in 2006 — that growth is expected to slow. There are two main reasons:

  • California workers who are now age 50 to 64 have the highest levels of education of any age group in the state. They will reach retirement age by 2025.
  • Latinos, a group with low levels of education, make up a growing share of the state’s workers. They made up 29 percent of the working-age population in 2006 and will make up 40 percent by 2020. Just 7 percent of Latinos had a bachelor’s degree in 1990, a percentage that increased to 10 percent in 2006 and is projected to reach only 12 percent in 2020.


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