115,000 Janitors Have College Degrees
Nearly half of employed college graduates in the United States hold down jobs that don’t require a four-year college education — including 323,200 waiters and waitresses, 115,520 janitors and cleaners, and 83,028 bartenders.
A new report from the nonprofit Center for College Affordability and Productivity discloses that 37 percent of employed college graduates are in jobs requiring no more than a high-school diploma, and 11 percent are in occupations requiring more than a high-school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree.
About five million college graduates are in jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics says don’t even require a high-school education.
The lead author of the report, Richard Vedder — an Ohio University economist and founder of the Center — says the trend is likely to continue over the next decade.
“It’s almost the new normal,” he declared.
The problem is an oversupply of college-educated Americans compared to the number of jobs requiring a college degree:
- The number of Americans whose highest academic degree was a bachelor’s grew 25 percent to 41 million from 2002 to 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
- The number with an associate degree rose 31 percent during that period.
- Americans with a master’s degree rose 45 percent, and those with a doctorate degree rose 43 percent.
- Labor Department data from 2010 show that there were 41.7 million college graduates in the workforce, while the number of jobs requiring a college degree was just 28.6 million.
- In 1970, about 10 percent of Americans over age 25 had a college degree, while today the percentage has tripled to 30 percent.
According to Vedder, that helps explain why 15 percent of cab drivers had a bachelor’s degree in 2010 — compared to 1 percent in 1970 — as did 25 percent of retail sales clerks and 15 percent of firefighters.
Vedder, who is also an Adjunct Scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, added: “There are going to be an awful lot of disappointed [graduates] because a lot of them are going to end up as janitors.”