Ed Glaeser makes an important point about the current recession over at Economix:
it is important to recognize that in this recession, just as in every other recorded downturn, unemployment is overwhelmingly concentrated among those who started with less.
The overall unemployment rate for the more educated is only 4.3 percent. Individuals with a high school degree, but no college, have a 10 percent unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted). The unemployment rate for high school dropouts is 15.5 percent. Moreover, the unemployment rate gap between the most- and least-skilled is widening, not narrowing.
It’s easy for professionals to complain about the problems facing the finance system and the lack of work for finance professionals. Let’s not forget that they are actually very well off compared to the average person in this recession, as in others. Governments may be bailing out financial firms but, if we want to help the most people, we should think about how best to aid the less fortunate among us who are suffering far more.