Appalling wage decreases and persistant gender gap for recent college graduates

While our country’s leadership is indecisive about the best way to deal with the high unemployment rates, research is showing us the chilling reality that not only has the wage gap between genders not gone away, but recent college graduates are making less and less in wages.

Via Daily Kos a study from the Economic Policy Institute (accompanied with the above graph) tell us,

After gains in the 1980s and particularly in the 1990s, hourly wages for young college-educated men in 2000 were $22.75, but that dropped by almost a full dollar to $21.77 by 2010.  For young college-educated women, hourly wages fell from $19.38 to $18.43 over the same period.  Now,with unemployment expected to remain above 8% well into 2014, it will likely be many years before young college graduates — or any workers — see substantial wage growth.

The gender gap is still strong which one would hope despite a shift in the overal economy, wouldn’t be true given the change in women’s roles in the workplace–but it appears that they are being hit disproportionately  with lesser wages.

Furthermore, as someone who graduated college 10 years ago (eeek), I can probably count on one hand which of my contemporaries was able to buy a house, start a family (and not be struggling) or live a financially comfortable life. And something we all have in common is staggering student loans that impair our finances in disastrous ways.

If the situation has gotten more dire, we are looking at another generation of young people that are unable to provide for themselves, create families, buy houses or even have access to health care. What this says for the country in 50 years is nothing short of financial doom.

The system is broken and it seems to only be getting worse. Happy Monday.

Join the Conversation

  • nazza

    I totally understand you about the student loan issue. I was fortunate to get a mostly full scholarship for undergrad, but had to take out loans for grad school. The $18,000 I originally took out swelled to $24,000 with interest. If you ever have to put loans in deferment, that’s just more opportunity to build up interest.

    But I’ve known people who wanted to attend the best schools possible who have as little as $80,000 in loans and as much as $160,000. Many justified the decision by saying that their job after graduation would make up for it, but guess what, jobs aren’t all that easy to come by these days.

    Yes, the system is very very broken.

  • Jacob

    My roommate was crying to me yesterday because of her credit card and student loan debt. Both of us live with my parents as neither of us can afford to live elsewhere in Los Angeles. I was extremely lucky to not have to take out loans, but the number of friends and family who have had to defer life goals simply to pay off interest is staggering.

  • sex-toy-james

    I think that the gender gap being mentioned here and in the Daily Kos article needs more examination. It looks like a clear disparity, but once you consider that those groups of men and women are graduating with different mixes of majors it stops being clear whether this graph shows a disparity at all. I notice that the original article didn’t mention a disparity.
    If you look at starting salaries for different majors: and then you compare that to the most popular degrees by major: it starts to look less surprising that the average female graduate earns less.
    I’m not saying that there is no disparity, unless we’re talking about cultural forces that help determine what degrees men and women pursue. There might be a disparity in starting salaries within specific degrees, but that would be a different graph.

  • Shannon Drury

    I talk to a lot of folks here in Minnesota about the ongoing need for an Equal Rights Amendment, both at the state and federal level. A great talking point (especially with anyone paying for college) is the fact that this wage gap remains persistent–despite the fact that a college degree costs the same for every student, no matter what gender you are!