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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Report: More college degrees mean more earnings for workers

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Monday, January 22, 2024   

Attainment of college degrees has gone up across the nation - and that's good news for workers, according to a new report.

An analysis from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce finds the percentage of adults who hold a degree increased from about 38% to 45% between 2010 and 2020.

The rate was slightly lower in Idaho, increasing 5.5% percent. However, report Co-author Jeff Strohl - director of research at the center - said the state still is making progress.

"While it is the case that the economy in Idaho has not grown as much as the nation, it has certainly been ratcheting up," said Strohl, "and you can see it in the redistribution of important sectors."

Strohl said the state is making gains in sectors like aerospace and nuclear research.

According to the Georgetown report, the rise in degree attainment means U.S. workers will earn an additional $14 trillion over their lifetimes.

However, the report has an important caveat - attainment gaps persist for people of color. In Idaho, degree attainment is 22% lower for Hispanic and Latino adults.

Strohl said the country's Hispanic population surged in the 1990s, when many Hispanic adults had high school diplomas or less. But that's set to change.

"One thing we do see with the Hispanic population overall," said Strohl, "is the next generation from that boom in '90s are sending their kids to school - at an extremely high rate, to college."

Anthony Carnevale, the report's lead author and the director of the Georgetown Center, said one way to close racial gaps in attainment is to start early - by focusing on pre-K and K-12 education.

"Getting from childhood to a good job in the United States is a long walk," said Carnevale, "and you have to focus every step of the way, because the way the American system works is that people from less advantaged families begin to lose ground in the early grades."

Carnevale added that career counseling is largely absent in schools.

He said he thinks one improvement would be more focus on post-secondary credentials beyond bachelors degrees, including career and technical training.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.




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