Let ‘Em Be Doctors and Lawyers and Such
People with college degrees and graduate degrees are making less in real income than they did at the start of the decade. Indeed, only doctors and lawyers (and such?) are seeing growth.
Workers with professional degrees, such as doctors and lawyers, were the only educational group to see their inflation-adjusted earnings increase over the most recent economic expansion, adding to the concern that the economy has benefited higher-earning Americans at the expense of others.
Workers in every other educational group — including Ph.D.s as well as high school dropouts — earned less in 2007 than they did in 2000, adjusted for inflation, according to data from the Census Bureau. Data don’t include 2008 earnings.
Economists cite a number of reasons for falling wages for people with a bachelor’s degree. Open borders resulted in blue- and white-collar jobs being sent abroad — and skilled immigrants competing for jobs in the U.S. Job growth during the 2001 to 2007 expansion was weak compared to the late 1990s boom, thus putting less pressure on employers to dole out pay increases. Rising health-care costs are also a bigger part of total compensation than they were in the past. The Census data measure income, which doesn’t include the health-care bills employers pick up for workers.
The maternal occupational advice offered by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings all those years ago still holds, apparently. The article contains no data on cowboys, although I understand that Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett, and Tony Romo are doing quite well for themselves.