The United States does not currently invest heavily in vocational training compared with other countries, and funding for vocational training has declined over the past decades. The United States spends less than 0.05 percent of its gross domestic product on vocational training opportunities for workers.
Many workers can benefit substantially from worker training programs, which provide education and skill development that lead to increased economic opportunities and better jobs. Students who earn two-year degrees in a high-return field, four-year degrees after a two-year degree, or certain career-oriented certificates, earn median salaries of $34,000 or more per year. Students who earn two-year degrees in low-return fields or who do not complete their programs earn around 33 percent less.
Graduates of majors with initially low earnings experience faster earnings growth during the early-career years.
Since about 1980, the growth of single-parent families has been driven almost entirely by an increase in childbearing outside of marriage, often the result of people sliding into relationships and having an unplanned baby.
The U.S. minimum wage now stands at 38 percent of the median wage, the third-lowest among OECD countries.
This chart presents the schedule for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for tax year 2014 and possible adjustments to maximize the impact.