Yes, you read that correctly: Millennials are increasinglyturning to blue-collar work rather than immersing themselves incollege loan debt.

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The Miami Herald reports more people are gettinghigh school diplomas even as college enrollment has fallen.

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A 2014 Pew Research Center study says a college diploma added$17,500 to a graduate’s annual salary — but Forbes research saysthat, particularly for low-income students, the extra money thatthose four years of college cost just isn’t worth it to many.

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In addition, statistics from the Department of Labor projectthat out of the 11 fastest-growing professions in the U.S., onlythree actually require a bachelor’s degree — with the rest justneeding either a high school diploma or an associate’s degree.

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Related: 10 worst states for student debt

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Add to that the increase in apprentice-style education on thejob, and the fact that automation is going to take over a number oflow-skill jobs that will push workers into other careers, and youhave young adults evaluating both the possibility of finding a jobwithout a degree and the lure of avoiding huge loads of studentdebt. That’s driving them out into the workforce at an earlierage.

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Economists aren’t surprised at the trend, according to TheAtlantic. The unemployment rate has fallen, after all, since therecession.

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And college costs continue to rise, making itdifficult for young people to afford that degree. As a result,enrollment in four-year colleges has fallen by several percentagepoints since late 2015.

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A USA Today report projects that the U.S. economy will be adding2.5 million semiskilled jobs by 2017, with Forbes pointing out thatthe carpentry trade alone is set to grow by 24 percent by 2022.

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The good news for jobseekers is that many of the jobs beingadded pay more than minimum wage and even rival the salaries ofcollege graduates, especially when student debt is factored in.

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