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July 1992, Vol. 115, No. 7

Reconciling conflicting data on jobs for college graduates

Daniel E. Hecker
Economist, Division of Occupational Outlook, Bureau of Labor Statistics

If, as some analysts contend, the rising relative wages of college graduates in the 1980's suggest a shortage of these workers, why did one-fifth of them accept jobs that traditionally do not require a degree for entry? This article analyzes earnings for college and high school graduates, concluding that the relative earnings increase for college graduates during the 1980's was the result of a worsening job market for male high school graduates, not because of a shortage of workers with college degrees.

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Recent data on job prospects of college-educated youth. August 1993.

The future of jobs for college graduates. July 1992.

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