Illiteracy In America: Reading, Writing, And Unemployment
Written By: Robyn Shulman, M.Ed.
The illiteracy rate in the United States is shocking. The shock is greater than the debate about higher education, college prep., corporate needs, and the educational technology movement spreading around the world. 42 million people in the U.S. cannot read, while 50 million cannot read above the 5th grade level. If our citizens cannot read, it means they cannot write, and thus, they cannot find work. Unemployment in America consists of many diverse areas, including, but not limited to: the economy, lack of jobs, and most notably, an amazing lack of career knowledge and basic reading and writing skills for survival.
Over the course of one hour of research, I was able to see the following stats below in live form online. Out of 25 applicants for entry-level positions, I noticed the following information on various job boards and potential hires:
- Grammar errors on profiles
- Spelling errors on profiles
- Spelling and grammar errors on resumes
- Inappropriate pictures (including kids, girlfriends, boyfriends, babies, and sexually inappropriate images)
- Basic resume errors and lies that did not make sense (one person did not even have his/her name written)
- Inappropriate usage of email names and addresses (i.e., lovestarter@…com)
- Inappropriate images on Facebook (including a vast amount of information that will scare any employer away)
An estimated guess leads me to believe the age ranges of those looking for work were between 18-40 years old.
This problem begins at a very young age, and almost half of those who cannot read and/or do basic math problems live in poverty.