There is strong evidence that economic growth has been accompanied by growth in both spending and participation in schooling. In the second half of the 20th century the U.S. was the global leader in education, with largest supply of highly qualified people in its adult labor force of any country in the world. This tremendous stock of highly educated human capital helped the United States to become the dominant economy in the world and to take advantage of the globalization and expansion of markets.
However that lead has shrunk significantly over the past decade. Over the next 50 years the U.S. labor force is projected to grow only at about 0.6 percent per year as baby boomers retire. As a result, there are mounting concerns about future growth of the U.S. economy. By 2018, 63 percent of U.S. jobs will require some form of post-secondary education or training, but only 41% of American adults today have a college degree in America. The How USA is Falling Behind in Education and Economy Infographic explores the many trends that are placing a headwind on the rise of the American economy and education.