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College Grads Earn Less Than A Decade Ago

From the Los Angeles Times:

New college graduates earning less than a decade ago

Marla Dickerson
May 18, 2012

Newly minted college graduates lucky enough to find a job after leaving school are in for a shock: They’ll likely be earning less money than they would have a decade ago.

Since 2000, these young workers have seen inflation-adjusted wages deteriorate, according to research by the Economic Policy Institute.

Here’s the math: In 2011, fresh college grads earned an average of $16.81 an hour, or about $35,000 a year. That’s down 5.4% from 2000. Women fared worse than men. Their wages declined 8.5% to $15.74 an hour over the same period while those of men dipped 1.6% to $18.29 an hour.

The decline means real money: roughly a $2,000 drop in annual earnings, according to EPI.

Remember the good old days when each succeeding generation of Americans were more wealthy, and not less? Thankfully, Obama and the Democrats have transformed our country and done way with all that.

So why are real wages declining for new college grads? Economists point to a variety of factors, including two recessions in the last decade, the continued loss of jobs offshore and automation that has affected even white-collar fields such as law and technology. Some contend that colleges are churning out too many liberal arts majors and not enough scientists

How can that be? You can’t have too many liberal arts majors. They are the ones who go to into law school and journalism.

For the record, here is some more academic news from earlier this month via the Chronicle Of Higher Education:

The Ph.D. Now Comes With Food Stamps

By Stacey Patton
May 5, 2012

Of the 22 million Americans with master’s degrees or higher in 2010, about 360,000 were receiving some kind of public assistance, according to the latest Current Population Survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau in March 2011

[T]he percentage of graduate-degree holders who receive food stamps or some other aid more than doubled between 2007 and 2010.

During that three-year period, the number of people with master’s degrees who received food stamps and other aid climbed from 101,682 to 293,029, and the number of people with Ph.D.’s who received assistance rose from 9,776 to 33,655, according to tabulations of microdata done by Austin Nichols, a senior researcher with the Urban Institute

Leaders of organizations that represent adjunct faculty members think that the number of people counted by the government does not represent the full picture of academics on welfare because many do not report their reliance on federal aid

And this unbelievably long article goes on to cite one heartbreaking example:

Elliott Stegall, a white, 51-year-old married father of two, teaches two courses each semester in the English department at Northwest Florida State College, in Niceville, Fla. He and his wife, Amanda, live in a modest home about 40 miles away in DeFuniak Springs, a conservative bulwark in northwest Florida…

Mr. Stegall is a graduate student at Florida State University, where he is finishing his dissertation in film studies. At night, after his 3-year-old and 3-month-old children have been put to bed, he grades a stack of composition papers or plugs away at his dissertation. (He’s writing about how Hollywood films portray Vietnam soldiers as psychotic men who return home destroyed by the war.) His wife is starting a two-year, online master’s degree program in criminology offered by Florida State. They receive food stamps, Medicaid, and aid from the Women, Infants, and Children program (known as WIC)

"I tend to look at my experience as a humanist, as someone who is fascinated by human culture," he says. "Maybe it was a way of hiding from the reality in which I found myself. I never thought I’d be among the poor." …

How could an expert on "film studies" to suffer in poverty? Is there no social justice in this world?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, May 21st, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “College Grads Earn Less Than A Decade Ago”

  1. untrainable says:

    I propose the reason is that now they’re getting paid exactly what they’re worth. Actually probably still more than they’re worth, just not as much more than they’re worth as a decade ago. I believe it’s because as the relative intelligence of graduates goes down, the market re-evaluates the worth of a degree, and, these days, just puts a lower value on 4 or more years of drunken dope smoking, and a degree in women’s human racial art studies and mesoamerican geophilosophy. “Oooo, but I have a minor is journalism!”. “Yeah… whatever, so, you ever waited tables before?”

  2. BigOil says:

    They do not even bring up the fact that the cost of a college education has also doubled over the same time frame. Maybe if economics were taught in high school – the young skulls full of mush could figure out which majors do not have an acceptable payback.

  3. Anonymoose says:

    In the old-old days, before colleges became overrun with liberals and political correctness, university level education was only for a small minority of the population. Most of those went as a sort of finishing or prep school, to become a man/woman of “letters.” It didn’t really matter what degree they got as they had money before and after–and this was where most liberal arts degrees came from. The few who went for something technical (mechanical engineering, medicine, etc.) would do very well, and here was where the stories came of these fabled colleges getting thousands, if not millions of dollars in endowments from grateful alumni.

    So today, several things are wrong.

    Employers think a college degree is needed for everything, and rely on it for their “job training” instead of the former apprenticeships. Jobs that barely pay for the degree require a degree, and some positions that formerly just took someone off the street now require a degree, membership in a professional organization, ongoing education credits, and heaven knows that else. The result is costing more to justify all the BS and more bars to entry for people seeking work.

    The world also changes fast, and both degrees and employees have a shelf life. Engineers, who used to be almost guaranteed a good future, now are seen as obsolete pieces of equipment in as little as 5-10 years. I’ve heard of a few people who kept going back to school and now have a decent paying job (for now) but drive old cars with bald tires as they’re paying so much in loans for all their degrees.

    Students also think a degree is the key to the future, and go deep into debt, far more than they ever did before. A lot of people who shouldn’t be in college, or who could find success in a trade or blue collar profession, get degrees, and the result is a fast food market of higher education. Kids getting associate’s degrees, Bachelor’s in “social sciences” or almost any liberal art are simply wasting their time.

    And the costs are getting higher and higher. In the sixties a kid could honestly work the farm over the summer and earn enough to pay for college. Today it’s more like two jobs, a scholarship, and help from his parents.

    Many students are serious about education, but the former rich kids aren’t being “finished” for a cultured adult life, they’re partying and doing drugs left and right.

    And the colleges–where to start. Political correctness has made many liberal ideas morphed into “studies” programs that ape the scientific method to justify themselves and exist only to indoctrinate the young, not to teach them how to think or how the way the world is–instead how it’s supposed to be according to them.

    Higher education has always been a lot of politics but have become very, very ugly places to be. Professors scramble for tenure, and despite the loftiness of their committees people get turned down for things like someone didn’t like their haircut. Tuition goes ever higher, yet pay for employees and morale keeps getting lower. The old sayings about how “those who can’t, teach,” and “the walls in education are so high because the requirements are so low” is absolutely true.

    To “spice it up” for prospective students the formerly bland cafeterias are now food courts; dorms are more like apartment buildings, and that’s before the decades long problems with college sports.

    Colleges make up new degrees that are worthless and don’t even have a job market, crank out the never ending liberal arts degrees, and anything job worthy is put out in such numbers that the market is soon killed.

    The result is a mess, and will likely be the next big financial collapse. It can’t continue with every online program and strip mall “campus” offering students degrees they can’t use, taking on a lifetime of debt for little or now reward.


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