Thursday, January 12, 2012

It really is getting worse

After adjusting for inflation, the typical male college graduate earned about 12 percent less in 2009 than his counterpart did in 1969. Sounds pretty bad, right?

The numbers are even worse for men without a bachelor’s:

Inflation-Adjusted Change in Median Earnings for American Men, 1969-2009
Weekly Earnings, Full-time, Full-year Male WorkersAnnual Earnings of All Male WorkersAnnual Earnings of Male Population
Ages 25-64-1%-14%-28%
Ages 30-50-5-16-27
Less than High School-38-47-66
High School-26-34-47
Some College-17-24-33
College Degree-2-7-12
Not Married-2-14-32
Source: Adam Looney and Michael Greenstone, Hamilton Project

As you can see from the last column in this table, the median man whose highest educational attainment was a high school diploma had his earnings fall by 47 percent in the last four decades.


namefromthepast said...

"After adjusting for inflation" is the most overused, overlooked, and understudied point of reference in most simple studies like the one commented about here.

Those working at entry level positions since 1970 with a high school diploma don't have extra money to invest in inflationary hedge positions.

I'd offer off the top of my head a few reasons why this study is irrelavent.

1-relatively well paying jobs could be obtained by those with high school diplomas in 1970 because a college degree offered little to the type of employment offered i.e. manufacturing vs service economies.

2-Technical requirements have increased the need for degrees as the economy has become more complex leaving those with minimal post-secondary education with little to offer.

3-entry level positions with unlimited access to promotions and greater earning potential are simply not offered to those without college degrees since 1970.

Not nearly an exhaustive list but a small start.

J said...

Have minimum wage laws not had their intended impact? Some of the numbers above are particularly concerning for those who fill those positions.