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Recent College Grads Making Less — Even Post-Recession


The Great Recession might be over, but you couldn't prove it by college grads, according to a recent study by The Conference Board.

The study examined the effects of the economic downturn on various age groups, education levels, and geographic areas. It found, among other things, that graduates entering the work force were earning less than their counterparts prior to the recession.

Gad Levanon, The Conference Board’s director of macroeconomic research, says that even without adjusting for inflation, new graduates today will earn lower salaries than grads did in 2008.

Recent grads can’t necessarily expect to make that money up over time, either. Although wages for US workers have grown steadily since Q3 of 2010, leaving some to declare an end to the recession, all is not rosy, especially for new workers.

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The problem is that wages lost during recessions are gone for good. Workers tend to take lower paying jobs out of necessity when times are tough. When the economic picture improves, their salaries continue growing from their recession era levels — which is to say, they stay significantly lower than they might have, had there never been an economic downturn.

Currently, half of all new graduates are unemployed or underemployed.

All of this has potential impact on the economy at large, as more workers making lower wages means less money paid into Social Security, and thus a less-than-positive outlook for retirees as well as new members of the workforce.


(Photo Credit: Victor1558<--–>/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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