Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
True
Santorum
Says the unemployment rate for college graduates is 4.4 percent and over 10 percent for noncollege-educated.

Rick Santorum on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 in a speech

Did Santorum's unemployment numbers add up this time?

So what’s a college degree worth?

Apparently a lot if you want to keep your job, according to numbers relayed by one Republican running for president.

Rick Santorum came to the Atlanta area last week to convince grass-roots party activists that his candidacy -- despite low poll numbers -- is ascending.

The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania castigated "Obamacare," among other topics. What caught our attention was that Santorum offered some very specific statistics on college education in relation to unemployment.

"We need to create the hope and opportunity for those who in this economy have been left behind, and that’s a lot of blue-collar workers," the candidate told an audience of about 75 people at a hotel in Duluth. "The unemployment among those who are college-educated in America is 4.4 percent. Among blue-collar and noncollege-educated, it’s over 10 percent."

The comments were made to the Georgia Republican Party’s 7th District Committee, which has invited the GOP candidates for president to speak.

Santorum has talked about this subject before. During a Nov. 9 debate, the candidate said: "The unemployment rate among [the] noncollege-educated is well into the double digits in America. It's 4 percent or 5 percent for people who have college degrees."

Our friends at PolitiFact National checked out that statement and rated it Half True. In Georgia, Santorum offered a more detailed claim.

So did Santorum do better this time on the Truth-O-Meter?

We used a table by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that tracks unemployment rates for Americans older than 25 by their educational level. In October, the unemployment rate for high school graduates with no college education was 9.6 percent, according to the BLS. The unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma was 13.8 percent. There was no breakdown for "blue-collar" workers.

Since Santorum said "noncollege-educated," we decided to combine workers with and without high school diplomas. There are a combined 49.2 million Americans in the workforce who fit that description, according to the BLS. About 5.2 million of them are unemployed, which equals an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent. That is over 10 percent, which Santorum told the audience in Gwinnett.

And what’s the unemployment rate for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher?

In October, it was 4.4 percent, according to the BLS. In this category, the numbers haven’t changed much in the past 12 months.

Santorum’s numbers were on target for college-educated workers. The former senator apparently did his homework this time about the unemployment rate for noncollege-educated workers. We rate his statement True.