Robots could replace nearly a third of the U.S. workforce by 2030

Over the next 13 years, the rising tide of automation will force as many as 70 million workers in the United States to find another way to make money, a new study from the global consultancy McKinsey predicts.

That means nearly a third of the American workforce could face the need to pick up new skills or enter different fields in the near future, said the report’s co-author, Michael Chui, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute who studies business and economics.

“We believe that everyone will need to do retraining over time,” he said.

Danielle Paquette, Washington Post, November 30, 2017

Hand Gestures May Boost Students’ Math Learning


A simple wave of the hand can boost a child’s performance in mathematics. A new study published in Child Development found that students perform better when instructors teach with hand gestures—something that teachers in the United States do less commonly than teachers in other parts of the world.

In a test given immediately afterward, students who observed the gestures performed better. A second test, 24 hours later, also showed that the gestured-to students had an edge over the other group.

Linda Poon, National Geographic News, April 7, 2013


The States That College Graduates Are Most Likely to Leave

But in the 1980s, people started moving less. Internal migration has been in gradual decline ever since across all demographic groups. In the 1980s, 3 percent of men moved across state lines each year; over the last decade that figure has dropped to 1.7 percent. The decline is similar for women. Between 2001 and 2010, the demographic groups with the lowest rate of interstate migration were people with less than a high school diploma (1 percent) or nothing beyond a high school diploma (1.2 percent). Migration rates for college-educated people were roughly twice that.

In the regional competition for the most skilled and most mobile workers in America, many noncoastal states are at a disadvantage. Although they have some large cities, they tend to be farther from other large cities than is the case in the coastal areas. The economists Stuart Rosenthal and William Strange looked at the benefits of density and found that they tend to dissipate over distances greater than five miles.

This advantage provided by clusters of cities is helpful for coastal states, which tend to contain many big metro areas, like San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco in California, or the so-called Acela corridor stretching from Washington to Boston. But it can be bad news for inland areas with one or two large cities that are farther apart: Omaha and Kansas City, Mo., say; or Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.

, New York Times, November 22, 2016

The best reason for reading? Book lovers live longer, scientists say.

A recent study by Yale University researchers, published online in the journal Social Science & Medicine, concluded that “book readers experienced a 20 percent reduction in risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow-up compared to non-book readers.”

The data was obtained from a longitudinal Health and Retirement Study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. The study looked at 3,635 subjects, all older than 50, whom the researchers divided into three groups: those who didn’t read books, those who read up to 3.5 hours a week and those who read more than 3.5 hours a week.

Amy Ellis Nutt, Washington Post, August 9, 2016

How Cuts to Public Universities Have Driven Students Out of State

Salary by Education Level Statistics


verage Salary by Highest Education Level Achieved Data
Average High School Degree Salary $32,552
Average Associate Degree Salary $39,884
Average Bachelor’s Degree Salary $53,976
Unemployment Rate for someone with less than a High School Diploma 14.9%
Unemployment Rate for a high school graduate 10.3%
Unemployment Rate for an Associates Degree holder 7.0%
Unemployment Rate for a Bachelor’s Degree holder 4.7%
Average yearly tuition cost of a 2-Year Public College $9,139
Average yearly tuition cost of a 4-Year Public College $16,482
Average yearly tuition cost of a 4-Year Private College $32,1933
Percent of tuition loans that become delinquent within five years 41%
Average student loan debt for graduates $34,400
Total outstanding student loan debt in 2015 $1.1 Trillion
Total outstanding student loan debt in 2010 $840 Billion, August 27, 2015

Researchers Examine Family Income And Children’s Non-Cognitive Skills

BARBARA WULF: When we think about who is a good employee and who’s likely to succeed in the workplace, you hear a lot of attention paid to these what I’ll call non-cognitive skills. So they pay attention, they are persistent, they are eager. So they have a set of characteristics that make them good employees.

VEDANTAM: Wulf and Fletcher analyzed data from a national survey, David, that tracked children from kindergarten through the fifth grade. The survey data allowed the researchers to track the effects of family income on what parents and teachers were reporting about these children as they went through elementary school. The researchers find there’s a very strong correlation between family income and these non-cognitive skills. In other words, when it comes to being cooperative or dealing with conflict productively, children from wealthier families on average seem to have more of these skills than children from poorer families.

Shankar Vedantam, NPR, June 30, 2016

Parents Tell Kids to Borrow More for College: Teens must take out bigger loans, a new survey shows, worsening the student debt crisis.

Half of U.S. high school graduates this year had better forget about mom and dad paying for all, or even some, of their college education, now a six-figure proposition at even middling schools. A new survey from Discover Financial Services found that 48 percent of parents think their child should pay a portion—or all—of the cost. Four years ago, the same survey found 39 percent of parents held that opinion. That parental piggy bank is shrinking.

Polly Mosendz, Bloomberg, May 9, 2016

With one change, this school doubled the number of kids eating school breakfast

Less than 10 percent of students at Frederick Douglass Elementary in Leesburg were eating school breakfast last school year, and educators noticed the impact: Students were fidgety and cranky and sometimes had to leave class to see the school nurse because of stomach aches.

About one-third of the Loudoun County school’s students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, but many of those children were not eating breakfast at school. The reason? Students were worried that a sit-down breakfast in the cafeteria would make them late in the midst of the rush to get to class.

So Wilson came up with a solution: Let children grab their breakfasts and go straight to class with the meals.

The idea, implemented at the start of 2015, has had dramatic results. The number of students eating school breakfast has more than doubled from the start of last school year to this school year, going from 60 to 130.

Moriah Balingit, Washington Post, April 6, 2016