What the Income Report Tells Us About College Grads

I've made my own little subspeciality in recent years..when the Census income report comes out, I calculate whether the real earnings of college grads has gone up or down. Last year, for example, I wrote a blog item entitled

I’ve made my own little subspeciality in recent years..when the Census income report comes out, I calculate whether the real earnings of college grads has gone up or down. Last year, for example, I wrote a blog item entitled “Young College Grads in Free Fall.”

This year the picture is mixed. Young college grads are doing a bit better, but overall, the earnings picture for college grads without advanced degrees is still sucky (that’s a technical term, by the way).

So let’s do two graphs. First, median earnings for college grads ages 25-34, without advanced degrees, and adjusted for inflation. We see here that young college grads have recovered a bit of ground, but they are still below their 2002 levels.

And here’s median earnings for college grads 25 years and old, without advanced degrees, and adjusted for inflation. To interpet…real wages have kept falling for college graduates. If you don’t have an advanced degree, you are so not in good shape.

The only way I can interpret this is the pressure from globalization on college-educated wages.

BTW, I went looking to see if anyone else has written or blogged about this. If they have, let me know.