College is definitely more expensive than it was 10 years ago, but it’s worth it because starting salaries are higher, too, right? Wrong. According to the Economic Policy Institute, college graduates had lower starting wages in 2010 than they did in 2000.
Wages for college-educate people have deteriorated over the last decade. We already knew that men still earn more than women, but this is just extra salt in that wound: In 2000, the starting wage for men was $22.75 and $19.38 for women. In 2010, men were earning $21.77 and women were earning $18.43. Both sexes are taking a hit, just not an equal hit. The report says:
This lack of wage growth may be particularly surprising to those used to reading about the vast unfilled need for college graduates, which if true would lead to increases in their earnings.
It’s still important to get your degree, of course, even though you won’t be seeing the rewards right away. According to a recent Georgetown University study, someone with a bachelor’s degree will make 84 percent more over their lifetime than someone with just a high school diploma.
The reports ends on this bright, little note:
Now, with unemployment expected to remain above 8% well into 2014, it will likely be many years before young college graduates — or any workers — see substantial wage growth.