Since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, almost all of the economic gains have gone to workers with college degrees, according to a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute. In fact, the earnings gap between college graduates and those with only a high school diploma is larger than it has ever been, with college graduates earning 56% more than high school graduates.

But the report shows that the economic gap goes beyond earnings to a wide range of economic advantages:

  • College grads are more likely to have a job. 83% of those ages 25-64 with a degree had jobs compared to just 2/3 of those without.
  • Women with degrees are twice as likely as those without to have a first marriage last at least 20 years.
  • 75% of degree-holders own a home, compared with just 64% of those without.
  • Among those with similar incomes, college graduates contribute on average 26% more to their 401ks than those without degrees.
  • Perhaps most surprisingly, those with a college degree are more likely to belong to a union than those without. Only 6% of workers without degrees belong to unions.

Clearly, getting a degree gives you a big leg up on building a future.