Nearly Half Of College-Educated Workers Are Overqualified For Their Jobs

college degree overqualified job

The college degree used to be the ticket to a good middle class job. That is officially over, according to a new study by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

It found that nearly 1 out of 2 Americans with college degrees are working at jobs they're overqualified for. While less than 5 percent of retail sales clerks had college degrees in 1970, the study found that 25 percent did in 2010. And 15 percent of taxi drivers were college grads in 2010, versus just 1 percent in 1970.

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Despite the slowly improving labor market, the trend is likely to continue for new grads. "It's almost the new normal," Richard Vedder, an Ohio economist and an author of the study, told USA Today.

The reason: The number of people with bachelor's degrees is growing at a rate that exceeds the creation of jobs demanding college degrees. Using 2010 Labor Department data, Vedder found that the number of college graduates was 41.7 million -- while just 28.6 million jobs required a college degree.

Only about half of the jobs lost during the Great Recession have been recovered, and according to an analysis by The Associated Press, many of the good, middle-class jobs won't be coming back, due to new technology. About half of the lost jobs were in mid-paying industries, and Moody's Analytics, a research firm, says only 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs created in recent years are in that category.


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