I sure hope that there is a mistake with the data…because if it isn’t, it’s just terrible news. The BLS just came out with its data on usual weekly earnings for wage and salary workers for the second quarter of 2008. The topline number was that median weekly earnings for all workers, adjusted for inflation, were roughly about flat compared to a year earlier.

But when I looked at the details and did some calculations for different subgroups, I saw something that shocked me.

real median weekly earnings, 08II
percentage change over previous year
high school diploma only -0.3%
some college or associated degree -0.9%
bachelor’s degree only -5.5%
advanced degree 2.1%

Yowza. It look like college grads without an advanced degree stepped in a pothole in the second quarter.

Let’s look at the data another way. This is the change in real wages over the previous year, four-quarter moving average, for bachelors degree holders without an advanced degree.

Yep, it’s a pothole. Without an advanced degree, you are toast.

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