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Pocket Of Pain For Young Graduates ^ | 9-6-06

Posted on 09/07/2006 6:26:29 AM PDT by Hydroshock

Details Buried Deep In Census Bureau Data Show A Sustained Drop In Earnings For 25- To 34-year-Old Grads, To Their Lowest Level Since 1997 Email This Story | Print This Story

Subscribe to BusinessWeek Young college grads are taking it on the chin. That's what the new data from the government show -- and it's not a pretty sight.

On Tuesday, Aug. 29, the statisticians at the Census Bureau released the latest numbers on income and poverty, for 2005. There were plenty of meaty figures, both good and bad, to chew on. On the good news side, median household income rose by 1.1%, adjusted for inflation, the first such gain since 1999. The poverty rate dipped a bit, from 12.7% to 12.6%.

On the bad news side, real median earnings of full-time workers declined, with the earnings of men dropping to the lowest level since 1997. And income inequality widened a bit, with the top 20% of households getting more than 50% of all the income.


Perhaps the most distressing figure was one buried deep inside the detailed tables. It turns out that the median earnings of young college grads, adjusted for inflation, fell by an astonishing 3.3% in 2005. That's on top of similar declines in 2004 and 2003. All told, the earnings of young college grads are down by almost 8% since 2002. [For a related chart, see, 8/29/06, "Young College Grads in Free Fall."]

By young college grads, we mean full-time workers between the ages of 25 and 34, with a B.A. but no advanced degree. These are people who first entered the workforce during the past 10 to 12 years, some during the boom, some during the early years of the bust. What they've experienced over the past several years is an unrelenting downdraft in wages, probably the first sustained decline for college grads since the 1970s.

What's more, many of them have also been stuck on the wrong side of the housing boom. Just coming out of college, they didn't have the savings or the income to buy a house. And with home prices rising faster than their incomes, it's been very hard for them to catch up.

There are signs that the market for the latest crop of graduates coming out of college has improved a bit. But for the group just before them, it's a real rough ride.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: generationy; jobs
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To: ContemptofCourt

Well, it doesn't help that I live in Michigan, which has been bucking the national trend of job growth and economic upturn for the past 5 years.

41 posted on 09/07/2006 7:58:46 AM PDT by BaBaStooey (I heart Emma Caulfield.)
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To: brownsfan

I can do math. It just is not as understandable as math wizzes say it is and is difficult.

Whenever I talk to other people who briefly considered the sciences, math is the reason they opted for a different path.

42 posted on 09/07/2006 8:02:42 AM PDT by rwfromkansas (
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To: AppyPappy

"They failed to mention that 1998-2002 grads were WAY overpriced during the Net boom."

Thats a great point. I am sure it's not all of the reason but surely is part of it.

43 posted on 09/07/2006 8:07:23 AM PDT by quantfive
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To: grundle

No, we also have positions in Siberia and Sakhalin Island.

44 posted on 09/07/2006 8:10:47 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: RockyTop4GOP

"You're forgetting that people might not like the sciences. "

No I'm not. In the post you're replying to, the original poster said he wanted to go into meterology but didn't like math. I think finding a career is a balance between practicality and passion. You're right to avoid sciences if it made you miserable. Now, if you get a BA in Greek Mythology, you limit your earning potential and job prospects. So, if you can't do what you love and make a living, do something you like. :)

I agree, the job market is tougher for kids today. College expenses are totally out of control. Foreign competition is tougher than ever. And, the sense of Americanism is as weak as it's ever been. I can't tell you how disappointed I get when I see some of the posters here bellowing about patriotism, and then the same posters will applaud the loss of American jobs.

The "me" generation is going to hurt us as much as the hippies ever did.

45 posted on 09/07/2006 8:11:54 AM PDT by brownsfan (It's not a war on terror... it's a war with islam.)
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To: Mikey_1962

If you dig deep enough in the box, you'll find the raisins.

46 posted on 09/07/2006 8:16:46 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: BaBaStooey
Well, it doesn't help that I live in Michigan

Then i'll have to fall back to argument No. 2, which is that it is your fault and you just need to go where the jobs are....

47 posted on 09/07/2006 8:25:58 AM PDT by ContemptofCourt
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To: brownsfan

Funny thing is I've been buying and driving nothing but Fords since the late 80's (after trying Nissan) and they never seem to let me down.

48 posted on 09/07/2006 8:43:52 AM PDT by 38special (I mean come'on.)
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To: ContemptofCourt

Did I neglect to mention that I live within 25 minutes of the world headquarters of two of the 10 biggest chemical companies in the world? And that I value living near family, and that coupled with my love of math and science was the reason why I decided to go into Chemistry in the first place?

And that I have also applied for jobs in at least 4 adjacent states and the province of Ontario?

Times are tough for kids with Bachelor degrees. Not sure why. I knew people at one of those large chemical companies who had really great jobs and only 2-year Associates degrees. Its a strange world.

49 posted on 09/07/2006 9:05:39 AM PDT by BaBaStooey (I heart Emma Caulfield.)
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To: grundle

Engineering firms can't get enough engineers and math majors are usually trainable. I have no specific information about any math majors getting jobs though.

I would bet that the government is hiring math majors for NSA work, but again I don't know that for a fact.

50 posted on 09/07/2006 10:04:49 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: gridlock

"These days, you couldn't flunk out if you tried."

Actually that's not true.

51 posted on 09/07/2006 10:20:47 AM PDT by LauraleeBraswell (Try reading the article before you post)
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To: Mikey_1962

No wonder American productivity is up....

AND no wonder burnout happens faster. When an engineer who loves the work spends most of his/her time dealing with email, and a host of computer programs generally unrelated to engineering satisfaction with the job starts to decline.

Leave a little room to accommodate the serious scientists in their thinking and creativity. Today there is little time for it.

52 posted on 09/07/2006 10:37:49 AM PDT by Joan Kerrey
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To: rwfromkansas

If I just can't survive, I will go back to school and do my darndest to find something I like that pays a lot more, but only in that situation.

Major in some radical studies and then befriend far left wing professors and you'll find your trip up the ladder will be easier and quicker. Perhaps Islamic studies could be a start, convert to Islam and become a radical. The rest will follow automatically.

53 posted on 09/07/2006 10:43:37 AM PDT by Joan Kerrey
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To: Joan Kerrey

No thanks.

54 posted on 09/07/2006 11:00:02 AM PDT by rwfromkansas (
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To: CharlesWayneCT


55 posted on 09/07/2006 12:33:32 PM PDT by grundle
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To: Hydroshock

I'm in this group, except I have the advantage of having a masters degree. I entered the workforce in '99, and I'm just now starting to pull ahead. So I guess I can vouch for some of the article.

56 posted on 09/07/2006 12:43:29 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: gridlock
Colleges are turning out a worse and worse product, every year. These days, you couldn't flunk out if you tried.

Not true. It makes a nice slogan, but it's factually incorrect. The classes I took in college were challenging, and plenty of people flunked out.
57 posted on 09/07/2006 12:45:37 PM PDT by mysterio
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