One More Reason Going to College Was a Great Idea

You're more likely to choose to quit your job if you have a bachelor's degree
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Sara McKethan, left, hands a list of job descriptions to a prospective applicant during the Choice Career Fair in San Antonio on Thursday, April 16, 2015. Two hundred and ninety-five people attended a Choice Career Fair in San Antonio.

Photographer: Matthew Busch

College graduates have come out on top in this economic recovery. Their wages have outstripped those of less-educated Americans, and their jobless rate remains much lower. Now, they can chalk up another win: They're increasingly more emboldened to leave their job voluntarily than someone with a high-school diploma.

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Courtesy of Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The trend is made clear in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's May 2015 Survey of Consumer Expectations, published Monday. The divergence, illustrated in the graph above, is an important one: Planning to quit your job is a good sign because it shows confidence in your prospects elsewhere.

The fact that educated workers plan on taking the leap signals that they have a greater bargaining power in today's economy. By contrast, those with no college experience appear to be losing ground.

That could matter for wages down the road. As workers churn through the system, they bargain for higher pay. If less-educated employees aren't making moves, they could be losing out on raises. That means the already stark divide between college and high-school educated workers' paychecks -- see this graphic from the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- could widen further. 

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