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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Revised Tool Allows Wage Comparison by Occupation across Labor Markets

Workers without college degrees make up the majority of our nation’s workforce. However, people tend to focus on the importance of getting a four-year degree.

For a better understanding of the economic opportunities available to workers without a bachelor’s degree, view the Atlanta Fed’s updated Opportunity Occupations Monitor, which shows estimates of “opportunity occupations” (well-paying jobs that don’t require a college degree) in states and metro areas.

This updated tool adds to findings published in a recent report by researchers at the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland and Philadelphia. Besides offering estimates of the number and share of well-paying jobs for non-college-educated workers, the tool provides historical trends on employer educational requirements for occupations in each state and metro area between 2012 and 2017.

It also presents a wealth of data on wages and projected employment growth. Find additional information at

Fed Documentary Explores Good Jobs Not Requiring a Four-Year College Degree

Opportunity occupations are the focus of a newly released documentary by the Federal Reserve. Travel, virtually, to the Toledo, Ohio area for the story of Jaime Pearson, a truck scales administrator, and learn about the region’s approach to creating a productive workforce development ecosystem. Watch at

Fed Publication Explores Small Business Capital Access

Small businesses are vital to the American economy and account for 99.9% of all U.S. firms and nearly half of private-sector employment. They are remarkably diverse, and constitute 44% of the total private-sector output of the economy.

Business owners and entrepreneurs require access to a variety of credit sources. Yet less than half of small businesses report that their credit needs are met.

The Federal Reserve’s second issue of Consumer & Community Context features three articles with original analysis focusing on small businesses’ access to capital.

  1. The first article describes experiences of small business owners when searching for financing online. A review of online lender websites finds inconsistency in the disclosure of cost information, posing difficulties for prospective borrowers.
  2. The second article explores disparities in small business credit approval by race and ethnicity. Black-owned firms are less likely than white-owned firms to be approved for financing at banks, even taking into account firm characteristics.
  3. The third article examines small businesses’ access to financial services in low- and moderate-income communities. Since the end of the last recession, low-income neighborhoods have experienced larger declines in the number of banks and larger increases in the number of alternative financial services companies compared to higher-income areas.