Earnings Growth Driven By Workers With College Degrees

Career College Central summary:

  • A new study from the University of Oklahoma has found that employment and earnings growth in the United States over the past 13 years has been almost exclusively driven by workers with at least a bachelor’s degree. The study found that from 2000 to 2013, real earnings in the United States grew by about $1 trillion among workers with at least some college education, with about 93.1 percent of that earnings growth coming from workers with at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • “What really surprised me is how much more they are earning — the differences are dramatic and striking,” said study author Robert Dauffenbach, associate dean and director for the Center for Economic Management Research at OU’s Price College of Business.
  • Also from 2000 to 2013, real earnings fell by about $250 billion for high school graduates and people without high school diplomas, resulting in a net $750 billion real earnings gain to the overall economy. Nationally, the average of the percentage of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree is 28.6 percent. The study calls for public policy makers to pay closer attention to the importance of higher education for economic development as states compete for jobs and employers, Dauffenbach said.

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