Forty years ago, a high school diploma was a ticket to many basic jobs in manufacturing, construction and other areas that paid at least a basic living wage. No more. Recent studies show that there is virtually no growth in jobs whatever for people who lack at least some college education. Moreover, wages are actually dropping for jobs that don’t require any higher ed.
The New “Low End” Jobs
A new report from the Georgetown Center shows that over 95% of the new jobs gained since the 2008 financial meltdown have gone to people who have either spent some time in college or earned a degree. Many of them are technical jobs in health care or professional service positions that seldom go to applicants with only a high school diploma.
Blue collar jobs that existed before 2008 have come back, but with lower wages. A study by the National Employment Law Project found that wages for retail and restaurant workers have dropped by about 6% since the recession ended. Employers who need people for even lower skilled jobs, in fact, are increasingly expecting applicants to have at least an associate’s degree. As a result, the wage differential between college grads and non-college grads has risen significantly.
As a result, according to an NBC News piece, more and more Americans are starting to support Bernie Sanders’ idea of free college for all Americans.