Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Pretty Soon the U.S. Might Run Out of College-Educated Workers

The unemployment rate for bachelor's degree holders is at a six-year low

Maybe that college degree will pay off after all.

Last month, the unemployment rate of workers who hold a bachelor's degree or higher sank to 2.8 percent, its lowest level since September 2008. That compares with a jobless rate of 5.7 percent for the overall population.


That could mean the U.S. isn't far from a position that would have been crazy-talk not too long ago—running out of those types of people to employ, according to Guy LeBas, chief fixed-income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

"Presumably, these educated workers are the most productive in our information economy, and, at some point in the coming year, we're going to risk running out of new, productive people to employ," LeBas wrote in a note to clients. "That comment would have been unthinkable just 12 or 18 months ago."

That also has good implications for the wages of those workers. As those laborers become scarcer, companies will be forced to bid up their pay to attract the best and brightest.

Average hourly earnings for the broader population climbed 0.5 percent in January, reversing a 0.2 percent slump in December, to mark the strongest month for wage growth since November 2008.

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