Economic Benefits of Postsecondary Credentials. Incremental Earnings and Revenues Upon Drive to 55 Achievement

Author: Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, Department of Economic and Community Development, Center for Economic Research in Tennessee, William F. Fox, Lawrence M. Kessler

Publication Date: February 1, 2016

This report follows a similar methodology to a recent Brookings Institution article, which measures the economic benefits of higher education to communities across the nation. On average, individuals with every type of postsecondary credential earn more than individuals with a high school degree. The higher income potential of Tennessee’s workforce will in turn propel higher levels of spending and savings; increased consumption of goods and services will generate new tax revenues for state and local governments. This report projects the number of additional degrees that Tennessee’s population needs to earn to reach the Drive to 55 goal by 2025. Assuming the attainment goal is met, the analysis then projects increases in earnings and consumption of new certificate and degree holders in Tennessee’s workforce in 2025, above levels that would have been reached without a postsecondary education.