6:30am

Sat April 6, 2013
Jobs

Salary prospects dim for the Class of 2013, more of the same ahead

High paying jobs will remain elusive for the class of 2013 as a slow economic recovery drags on, according to numbers tallied by an economic policy center.

The Economic Policy Institute crunched some data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and found starting salaries for 21-24-year old demographic entering the labor force continues to be lower than it was a a decade ago.

Credit Economic Policy Institute

"As far as wages go, it's pretty darn weak right now," says Heidi Shierholz, an economist and labor expert who helped compile the data.

The look at wages is part of a larger report on the economic state of recent college graduates the institute will release soon.

Here's some of the highlights:

  • In 2012, young college graduates had an average hourly wage of $16.60 per hour, which translates into an annual income of roughly $34,500.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, the wages of young college graduates dropped 7.6 percent.
  • Between 2000 and 2012, wages decreased 8.5 percent, or about $3,200.

The overall lack of good jobs available to young workers is resulting in the low starting salaries being offered, Sheirholz says.

"What it does is it sort of shifts individual bargaining power away from workers because employers know you don’t have outside options," she says. "So we’re seeing that like crazy in today’s labor market."

Starting out on a low wage, can shadow a worker's wage bargaining power for years, she says.

Things don't look much better for those still in school either. Sheirholz says don't expect wages to tick up significantly for the classes of 2014 or 2015. The economic is going to have to recover a lot more before that happens, she says.

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