Saturday, April 20, 2013

Education and jobs

Even though higher education in the US is still producing cutting edge research, there seem to be problems of jobs for many university graduates, a situation that is similar to the one in the US.From Why the US is looking to Germany (via Urbanomics):
"Almost half of Americans with a degree are in jobs that do not require one, according to a study by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Fifteen per cent of taxi drivers in the US have a degree, up from 1 per cent in 1970. Likewise, 25 per cent of sales clerks are graduates, against 5 per cent in 1970. An astonishing 5 per cent of janitors now have a bachelor’s degree. They must offer endless nocturnal moments to repent those student loans. Only at the top of the system do the labour and education markets mesh well. PhDs and postgraduates are the only US category to enjoy rising incomes, often dramatically so."

The above article suggests that vocational training helps in Germany. It is not clear whether it would help in the US. As Dean Baker says here  "The piece also notes the shift of manufacturing jobs to China. This is not a result of inevitable globalization, but rather a policy decision to put manufacturing workers in direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world, while maintaining or increasing protectionist barriers that allow doctors, lawyers, and other highly paid professsionals from avoid similar competition. The United States has also further disadvantaged manufacturing workers by pursuing a high dollar policy that makes it more difficult for them to compete internationally.
There is little reason to believe that there is anything inevitable about the loss of wages by middle class workers. Rather this is primarily a policy driven outcome."

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