BUSINESS
09/03/2015 12:36 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2017

A College Degree Is Increasingly Likely To Land You In Low-Wage Work

Bartending, anyone?
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Trying to get a good job is no longer as easy as pointing to a college degree on your resume (not that it was ever exactly easy).

New research from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth shows that finding a well-paying job is getting harder even for those with lots of education.

There is a widely held belief that the U.S. economy has a shortage of skilled workers, leaving a lot of high-paying jobs unfilled. The chart below, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Quarterly Workforce Indicator, shows the opposite.

It's a little hard to read, but the horizontal axis is annual income. Bubbles further to the right represent industries that pay better. The vertical axis is the change in the percentage of employees in that industry who have a college degree. The higher the bubble on the chart, the greater the increase in college-educated employees in that industry since 2000.

The bubbles tend to concentrate up and to the left on the chart, meaning that highly educated Americans are more likely to work in low-paying industries than they were in 2000.

Credit: Washington Center for Equitable Growth
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