Involve America


Trend: Are We Earning Enough?

Young people are earning less and less, and our dollars don’t go as far as they used to. Regardless of how much our salaries go up, the cost of living always seems to go up more. Involve America understands and wants to continue the conversation about shrinking wages. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of our nation’s 100.6 million full-time wage and salary workers increased by 1.8% in the second quarter of 2011, as compared to numbers from a year ago. However, the consumer price index increased by 3.4% over the same time period. If we consider the consumer price index to be an indicator for cost of living, these small increases in compensation actually represent a losing battle against inflation.

Earnings by Level of Education

An analysis from Pew Research Center using U.S. Census Bureau data estimates that the typical adult with a bachelor’s degree will earn $1.42 million over a 40-year career, as compared to $770,000 for a typical high school graduate. According to this same analysis, the earnings gap narrows to $550,000 when the expenses and four years of lost earnings associated with college are factored in.

According to a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, those who get a master’s degree earn an estimated $2.7 million over the course of their careers, roughly $400,000 more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Doctorate and professional degrees lead to even higher lifetime earnings -- $3.3 million and $3.7 million, respectively.

In The News

Hey, You! Mean People Earn More, Study Finds
It seems nice guys do finish last, according to a new study which finds that agreeable workers earn significantly lower incomes than less agreeable workers. more >>

Useful Links

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey: Earnings
Information on the earnings of wage and salary workers, including charts broken down occupation and industry, published quarterly and derived from the Current Population Survey. more >>
U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics Wage Data by Area and Occupation
Find wage data by occupation for the nation or by region, state, or metropolitan area. more >>
National Compensation Survey - Wages
Information on hourly earnings in different parts of the country, brought to you by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey. more >>