Graph lines comparing unemployment to the number of students pursuing higher education or specialized training often show a corresponding trend: as unemployment rose, so did enrollment.
Lisa Barrow, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, co-authored a paper about post-secondary enrollment increasing nationally between 2007 and 2010. She found that during the recession and early part of the recovery, enrollment increased at most types of institutions of higher learning.
The two-year enrollment rate increased by 13 percent during the time period, after decreasing or staying about the same between 2002 and 2007. At public four-year colleges, enrollment increased more than 8 percent, after having risen less than 3 percent between 2004 and 2007. Enrollment at four-year private institutions increased more than 20 percent after having grown by nearly 8 percent between 2004 and 2007.