Generation Why: Data, Not Prognostications

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
generation why data not prognostications

This episode of Generation Why is brought to you by some numbers, not essays on product or marketing efforts. The chart above shows the mean earnings of college graduates with a Bachelor’s degree and full-time employment ages 25-34.

The Atlantic, which published the graph, claims that

“Real earnings for young grads with a college degree have now declined for six straight years. “Real average earnings for young grads have fallen by over 15% since 2000, or by about $10,000 in constant 2011 dollars,” PPI reports.”

Couple that with 14 percent unemployment for those aged 20-24 (compared to a national average of 8.1 percent), and no wonder kids aren’t buying cars anymore.

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  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 22, 2012

    As a liberal arts major who first couldn't get the job he wanted without a engineering or computer science degree, then excelled at it, then round rings around fellow engineers, then when the bubble burst couldn't get employed again due to wrong degree, I have to say screw liberal arts. All it taught me was that I just wrote a terrible sentence that everyone understood anyway. PS if you are a young man who doesnt mind tough conditions, there are unlimited jobs in the Eagle Ford (Texas) and Bakken (North Dakota) shale plays. College is no real advantage, but any practical knowledge usually translates.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Sep 22, 2012

    So on average when I graduated in 2005 at the age of 24, people 25-34 were making on average $64K salary in 2011 money? I was about half that but still. Geez... no wonder there was a BMW craze...

  • AJ AJ on Sep 22, 2012

    I'm not surprised at the lack of interest in young people to buy cars, let alone the lower earnings. I use to think college graduates use to have more drive, but I'm not so sure that is still true? There is a lot of entitlement out there wherever you look, and it's easy to hide out in academia when someone else is paying for it (even if it is a loan). I hire on occasion and it's tough to find someone that doesn't think they're entitled to a job. Currently my favorite age range is just under 40 as they seem to be in that mindset of working for the American dream. (Me too!)

  • Mike Kelley Mike Kelley on Sep 22, 2012

    Stuff like this may explain why employers are not as impressed with college degrees as they used to be: