Archive for the ‘Wages’ Category

The value of a college degree … and, the drag of not having one.

January 22, 2016

Here’s a chart that caught my eye re: the value of a college degree …

Since the mid-60s, the real wages of a worker holding a bachelor’s degree have increased by about 40%.

The increase for workers with a graduate degree is even greater …. almost 90%

That sounds formidable, but even it is only about 1.3% per annum.




Dragging the numbers down further …

During the same period, real wages for high school grads only increased about 15% … about 1/4% per annum.

And, real wages for workers without a high school degree stayed flat … or arguably, fell.

Of course, those small percentage differences in growth rates have a dramatic compounding effect …


Wages, productivity … and women.

January 7, 2016

Hot topic these days is how wages have remained stagnant for a long, long time … while productivity – think output per labor-hour has soared.

The political explanation: over-sized paychecks to greedy CEO’s have been draining the coffers.

That may be a part of the answer, but I bet it’s statistically insignificant.

I haven’t run the nums, but I bet that zeroing all CEO compensation wouldn’t budge the below chart.


In addition to greedy CEO’s, the batch of suspects usually includes: automation (shifting jobs to machines & computers), globalization (moving jobs to low wage areas), immigration (an influx of cheap labor).

In other words, the supply of labor and the demand for labor are out of whack.

OK, I get that.

But nobody seems to ever mention a pretty obvious bump in the supply of labor ….


Walmart: The economic cost of social wage hikes …

October 16, 2015

Earlier this year, CNN reported (and editorialized):

Retail workers have just scored an unprecedented win against a retail giant.

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, announced that it will raise the wages of approximately 500,000 of its employees by lifting its base wage to $10 by 2016.

To be sure, Walmart’s announcement is an impressive development in the fight for better wages.

It’s a step in the right direction, but not enough.



Let’s fast-forward to this week …


Which college majors pay the most?

December 24, 2012

In a prior post Nums: Stay in school !   we showed that the unemployment rate for college grads is only about 4% … way below the national average … and well below the rate for other education levels.


But, how well do those college degreed jobs pay?

And, more specifically, which undergrad majors pay the most?


Study says gender pay gap really is an issue …

November 1, 2012

Punch line:Women are attending college at higher rates than men, graduating in greater numbers and earning higher grades. Yet one year after graduation, women were making only 82 percent of what their male colleagues were paid.

* * * * *

Excerpted from The Washington Post’s, “One year out of college, women already paid less than men, report finds”

Equal Pay - Photo Illustration by 731

Nearly every occupation has long paid men more than women, despite laws aimed at narrowing and dissolving the differences.

Even when men and women had the same majors, there were often gaps in pay.

But much of the overall gap — the 18-percentage-point disparity — could be explained by career choices; men are more likely to enter high-paying fields such as engineering and computer science.

The researchers controlled for that, along with other variables, but an “unexplained” 6.6-percentage-point gap remained.

The researchers put forward suggestions for reducing the pay gap, including encouraging women to pursue careers in higher-paying fields and to negotiate higher pay.

“A problem as long-standing and widespread as the pay gap, however, cannot be solved by the actions of individual women alone,” the researchers wrote.

“Employers and the government have important roles to play. The pay gap has been part of the workplace so long that it has become simply normal.”

Edit by JDC

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About the 4.5 million jobs that Obama has (or has not) created …

September 6, 2012

The Dems are touting 4.5 million jobs created by President Obama.

CNN says that the number  is an accurate description of the growth of private-sector jobs since January 2010, when the long, steep slide in employment finally hit bottom.

But – and it’s a BIG but — while a total of 4.5 million jobs sounds great, it’s not the whole picture.

According to CNN:

Nonfarm private payrolls hit a post-recession low of 106.8 million January 2010 … The figure currently stands at 111.3 million as of July.

While that is indeed a gain of 4.5 million, it’s only a net gain of 300,000 over the course of the Obama administration to date since the private jobs figure stood at 111 million in January 2009, the month Obama took office.

And total nonfarm payrolls, including government workers, are down from 133.6 million workers at the beginning of 2009 to 133.2 million in July 2012. There’s been a net loss of nearly 1 million public-sector jobs since Obama took office, despite a surge in temporary hiring for the 2010 census.

Meanwhile, the jobs that have come back aren’t the same ones that were lost.

According to a study released last week by the liberal-leaning National Employment Law Project, low-wage fields such as retail sales and food service are adding jobs nearly three times as fast as higher-paid occupations.



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