What happened to the good old dropout trend?

There was a time when dropping out of college was almost like a ‘trend’ which had a Midas touch to it. Almost every other success story had a college dropout behind it. Be it Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or S. Daniel Abraham, less educated people seemed destined to make it big on the business stage while Americans with higher degrees were scratching their heads as to where they went wrong. Education and income seemed totally independent of each other until now. According to a new research, the last 2 decades have been impacted the incomes of Americans without much education to a great extent.

The researchers at Hamilton Project, a group within the Brooklings Institution released a report of review of employment and earnings data which calculated the extent to which lesser educated Americans were impacted in terms of income and the cause behind this unfortunate statistics. Consider this: Americans men in the age group 30 to 45 without a high school diploma had their median earnings cut by 20 percent from 1999 to 2013 when adjusted to inflation. This is absolutely shocking. In case of women, the number was less dismal, with the women without high school diploma getting 1 12 percent decline in their median earnings.

Pay levels are going down at a phenomenal rate in almost all the fields that employ less educated workers. Moreover, people are now shifting from high paying manufacturing and other jobs to lower paying cleaning and groundskeeping jobs. This is a result of declining number of high paying jobs due to technological advancement and globalization. Also, the jobs that are being created for less educated people are really paying less than the ones that are being lost. It’s a double edged sword.

The struggles of low wage workers have been well documented as has been their struggle to get out of poverty. The slowdown in wages and jobs is really concerning and this debate needs to be tended to and will be one of the key issues in the upcoming elections.

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