Pew Research Finds Almost No Gains for Young College Grads Over Last Quarter Century

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014 06:15

Most NYT readers probably would have missed this fact, since the blog post highlighted the growing gap between the pay of recent college grads and those with less than a college degree. While Pew did find a large increase in the gap, almost all of this was due to a fall in the year-round pay of less-educated workers.

In the 27 years from 1986 to 2013, Pew found that the median wage for full-time workers between the ages of 25-32 with college degrees increased from $44,770 in 1986 to $45,500 in 2013, a rise of 1.6 percent. This comes to an increase of 0.06 percent a year. By comparison, productivity rose 72.5 percent over this period, an average of 2.0 percent per year over this period.

It is also worth noting that the unemployment rate for college educated workers of all ages was 3.7 percent in 2013. This is higher than for any year prior to the recession since this series was started in 1992. 

While those without college degrees have been big losers, the Pew study shows that young people with college degrees have not been big winners in the economy over the last quarter century.

 

Note: 1986 wage corrected, thanks Michiganmitch.