#InfographicFriday is a blog series where we share an interesting infographic related to literacy and education on one Friday every month.
At ProLiteracy, we champion the message that adult literacy is the key to addressing a number of social issues, including poverty. Of adults with the lowest literacy levels, 43% live in poverty, and 70% of adult welfare recipients have low literacy levels. Low literacy costs the U.S. at least $225 billion a year in non-productivity, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment. We know that there is a clear correlation between education, employment, and earnings. The infographic below sheds light on just how much adults with low literacy are being left behind in the economic recovery.
According to this infographic by Georgetown University, out of the 11.6 million jobs created post-recession, 11.5 million (or 99%) went to workers with at least some post-secondary education. That leaves just 1%, or 80,000 new jobs, for workers with a high school diploma or less. Meanwhile, blue-collar jobs in construction and production have collectively lost around 2.7 million jobs since the recession. With 35 million adults who can’t read above a third-grade level, we’re left with a large skills gap.
Recently, the U.S. departments of Labor and Education have collectively issued the final regulations to govern implementation and administration of the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA). While this is helpful, the reality is that public funding for adult education has declined over the last 15 years, and 68% of our member programs operate with student waiting lists. It is essential to the growth and health of our economy that we invest in adult literacy and adult education to help those at the lowest literacy levels gain the education and the skills to compete in today’s job market.
With your help, we can become a larger voice for literacy.
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