Shrinking Salaries For College-Educated Workers

college degree overqualified job
college degree overqualified job

More bad news for college grads and parents about to plunk down thousands in tuition: Salaries for workers with bachelor's degrees began steadily declining even before the recession. An analysis by Jared Bernstein, an economist and blogger, shows that the Great Recession accelerated the decline in income -- but real weekly earnings for workers with BA degrees began a decade ago.

Take a look:

Bernstein points out that a college degree still gives workers a "solid leg up, both in terms of earnings and jobs;" the so-called college wage premium -- the boost in pay a college-educated worker gets -- is about 50 percent for men and 40 percent for women. But in recent years, the premium has not increased much for men -- or at all for women.

That trend could worsen, though as more workers with bachelors' degrees flood the market. Last week, research found that nearly one out of two Americans with college degrees are working at jobs they're overqualified for.

The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, which conducted the analysis, said the number of people with college degrees is growing at a rate that far exceeds the creation of jobs demanding college degrees. Using 2010 Labor Department data, it found that the number of college grads was 41.7 million, while just 28.6 million jobs required a college degree.

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