After all the good comments, I figured I’d pour a few more facts onto the fire.
First, here’s a comparison of real earnings changes by age and sex, for college grads. Clearly, the young male college grads have done the worst by far over this business cycle. Older female college grads have actually gained ground (all data comes from the Census Bureau, and includes last week’s income release).
Next, here is a comparison of real earnings changes for young people with different education levels.
The earnings drop was bigger for the young college grads.
Please note: These numbers are not an argument against going to college. I believe that it is more important than ever to get a college education. My kids are going to college right now (freshman and sophomore) and I would be peeved as hell at them if they didn’t get their degrees.
However, these figures are a sign that something has gone very wrong here. Very wrong.