The recent recession has hurt more than just the families who lost jobs during the time. Yes, many people were laid off as a result of budget cuts and decreased spending efforts made to keep companies alive. The resulting layoffs devastated the families affected. Another trend was happening that got lost in all the ink of companies killing off job positions.
What most of America was unaware of was that our economy was also slowly suffocating our full-time employees, even when they were fully qualified graduates from college.
Since 2005, average earnings per year by college graduates (with bachelor’s degrees aged 25-34 years old) started a steady decline that has continued to present day. Where they were once making on average a little over $64,000 per year, they are now only making just above $54,000 yearly. In 2009, they even dropped below the national average of all full-time workers age 18 and over and have continued to plummet ever since. The average of all full-time workers age 18 and over has stayed steady, between $56,000 and $58,000. It’s ironic and disturbing that our educated population has been willing to take lower paying jobs to provide for their families. The latter 2 years has finally shown the downward spiral flattening out and we may see an increase soon as our economy begins to fully recover.
We can learn one great lesson from this, when push comes to shove, the average full-time employee is willing to take a lower paying job if it means he or she can provide for their needs. And although a bachelor’s degree is helpful to pursue jobs of a higher caliber, they can also be used to get any job that will pay the bills. It’s hard to compete against a college grad for a bus driver or dental assistant job. For that reason, despite the rise or fall of the economy and despite how much people with bachelor’s degrees are being paid per year, you will always have a better chance at getting a job period, if you have higher education.