Huffington Post picked up PPI Economist Diana Carew’s new numbers showing the fall in real average earnings of young college grads.
Data analyzed by the Progressive Policy Institute reveal that college grads from ages 25 to 34, working full time, earned an average of $54,500 in 2011 — about 15 percent less than in 2005. The drop is equivalent to about $10,000 in salary adjusted for inflation.
The survey comes as a rising number of students and their families question whether the high cost of college is worth it. A 2012 Pew study found that only 55 percent of those with undergraduate degrees felt that college helped prepare them for a job.
Part of the reason for this is that middle-skill positions, like white collar sales representatives and entry-level analysts, were some of the first to disappear when the economy collapsed in 2008. That forced recent graduates to take lower-skill jobs, such as customer service or low-skilled health industry positions. Those positions would likely have gone to people with high school degrees in a stronger economy.