Education Matters: Earnings and Employment Outcomes by Educational Attainment [January 23, 2008] [open pdf - 64KB]
From the Summary: "The amount of education in which individuals invest greatly influences their labor market outcomes. For example, highly educated workers on average are better paid than other workers. Four-year college graduates also are less at risk of unemployment; if they should lose their jobs, these displaced workers are more likely than others to find new jobs. The importance of educational attainment to earnings levels has grown over time as well. Concern about the extent of wage inequality in U.S. society arose in part because of the comparatively large increases in real (inflation-adjusted) earnings of workers with at least a bachelor's degree."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22792