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Do You Make More Than Your Folks Did? Do You Make More Than Your Folks Did?

Do You Make More Than Your Folks Did?

by Amanda M. Fairbanks
July 9, 2010

Like father, like son? Insofar as wages are concerned the answer, apparently, is not anymore.

The New York Times' Economix blog reports:

Most men today earn less than equally educated men in 1979, with the exception of the most highly educated. The opposite is true for women: Most women today earn more than their equally educated counterparts from 1979, with the exception of the least educated.

The trend can be further explained by the potential wages among the most educated having risen while earnings among the least educated having fallen. Also, with less dependence on lower-skilled workers and industries like manufacturing, those lacking a high school diploma now fare even worse.

And college degree or not, today's Times tells the story of Scott Nicholson, a 24-year-old recent graduate whose perpetual joblessness is not unlike his millennial peer group. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 14 percent are unemployed and 23 percent aren't even looking for a job. Instead preferring, like Nicholson, to mow lawns and paint fences, until the ideal, entry-level job finally becomes available. The wait is proving to be longer than expected.

Compared to your parents, are you better or worse off?

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