In 2015, our MSA saw a drop in the percentage of 3- and 4-year olds enrolled in school from 45.5% in 2014 to 39.8% in 2015. At the other end of the youth spectrum are 16- to 19-year-olds. In 2014, the Shreveport-Bossier MSA had the 3rd highest share of this group not enrolled in school, not in the labor force, and unemployed (12.1%). In 2015 that number rose to 14.9%, the highest among the peer communities for which data was available. These are two critical measures of how well our education system, our business sector, and out community as a whole are engaging and preparing our young people for success in education and the labor market. Of the peer communities, our state has the two highest percentages of 16- to 19-year-olds who are not enrolled in school and not in the labor force.
Combining the high school, post-secondary, and higher education outcome measures, our MSA has the 2nd highest percentage (70.5%) of the population with something less than a postsecondary degree. Only 1 in 3 people in the Shreveport-Bossier MSA obtain an Associate's Degree or higher. In the 21st century economy, a competitive workforce - highly educated and highly skilled - is a critical component of globally competitive and prosperous communities.