Bad News for New Grads
October 1, 2012 8:23 am
The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) recently blogged about depressing statistics indicating a sixth straight year of reduced earnings for recent college grads (defined as full-time workers aged 25-34 holding a bachelor’s degree only). As the chart above indicates, real wages for these workers have dropped by 15% — or about $10,000 in 2011 dollars — since the year 2000.
PPI’s analysis links the continuing decline to the recessive economy’s elimination of mid-level positions, forcing recent grads to take jobs formerly reserved to those with only high school degrees. (Companies’ refusal to train workers on the job probably doesn’t help much either.)
Diana G. Carew analyzes the young grad situation for PPI:
…The fastest growing jobs now for young college grads include dental assistants, hairstylists, and bus drivers.
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.