College Grad Earnings Continue to Fall in 2011

Even as President Obama proposes some steps for student debt relief,  real wages for college graduates continue to plunge.  In the third quarter of 2011,  full-time workers with a bachelor’s degree and no advanced degree earned 3.5% less, in real terms, than a year earlier.*  Male college graduates saw their real wages fall by 5.3% over the past year,  while female college graduates had a 1.4% decline.

This continues a long term trend of declining real wages for college graduates. I discussed the plight of young college grads here.  Because real wages are declining, it’s much harder for grads to pay back their loans.


*Median weekly earnings, full-time workers 25 years and older with a bachelor’s degree only. See the BLS press release here).




  1. Would love to see alongside a chart of median incomes for everyone (grads and non-grads). Then I’d like to see a regression to determine the amount of variation in grad-incomes that is explained by fluctuations in broader median incomes.

  2. Demand and supply.


  1. […] students and graduates are being hit by two parallel economic disasters: higher tuition costs and lower post-graduation wages. This means that students are going to have to take on significantly more debt to obtain their […]

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