Earnings for college grads have fallen over 15% since 2000

by Grace

The latest Census figures show real earnings for young college grads fell again in 2011. This makes the sixth straight year of declining real earnings for young college grads, defined as full-time workers aged 25-34 with a bachelor’s only. All told, real average earnings for young grads have fallen by over 15% since 2000, or by about $10,000 in constant 2011 dollars.
Young College Grads: Real Earnings Fell in 2011 (Progressive Policy Institute)

This could help explain why young adults living with their parents is on the rise.

The pain is hitting everyone.

Meanwhile, the earnings gap between college graduates and non-college graduates is holding steady, a reflection of falling real wages at the low end.

Middle-skill vs high-skill jobs, and how the squeeze is on low-skill job seekers.

The middle-skill jobs that young college grads generally take (think sales agents, teachers, and financial analysts) continued to shed workers in 2011. And for the few high-skill jobs actively hiring (think engineers, web developers, and computer support specialists) most college graduates still lack the necessary training. That leaves many young grads taking jobs that don’t require a college degree for less pay. I call this “The Great Squeeze” – as college grads take the lower-skill jobs, they squeeze out those with less education and experience from the labor market. Nobody wins.

Related:  Parents have lower expectations for kids becoming financially independent (Cost of College)

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