Young workers' starting wages declining: Study

Average wage drops 25 per cent for male high school graduate over 30 years
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 03/14/2012

Whether a high school graduate or college graduate, male or female, the inflation-adjusted wages for young workers new to the workforce were lower in 2011 than in 2000, according to a study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in the United States.

The data show lower wages for entry-level workers across education groups between 2000 and 2007, with steep declines between 2007 and 2011. The entry-level hourly wage of a young male high school graduate in 2011 was 25.3 per cent less than that for the equivalent worker in 1979, a drop of roughly US$4 per hour in 2011 dollars. Among women, the entry-level high school wage fell 14.2 per cent in this period, and dropped by US$1.64 in 2011 dollars.

“Young workers’ prospects are a barometer of the strength of the labour market and their misfortune reflects the very disappointing wage growth for all workers, college and high school graduates alike, in the last decade,” said Lawrence Mishel, president of the EPI.

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