Too Many College Graduates, Not Enough Jobs For Them

Nearly half of working Americans with college degrees are in jobs for which they're overqualified, a new study out Monday suggests.

The study, released by the non-profit Center for College Affordability and Productivity, says the trend is likely to continue for newly minted college graduates over the next decade.

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Vedder, whose study is based on 2010 Labor Department data, says the problem is the stock of college graduates in the workforce (41.7 million) in 2010 was larger than the number of jobs requiring a college degree (28.6 million).

That, he says, helps explain why 15% of taxi drivers in 2010 had bachelor's degrees vs. 1% in 1970. Among retail sales clerks, 25% had a bachelor's degree in 2010. Less than 5% did in 1970.

Does anyone find this surprising? When you subsidize something, you get more of it, whether or not it makes sense. When the government made it easy to get a loan for a house, people started buying more houses, even when they couldn't afford one. When the government made it easy to get a loan for college, people started going to college more, even when there was no market payoff for doing so. Government subsidies lead to misallocations of capital because the distorted the emergent information system of prices. The housing bubble burst; the education bubble is going to as well. Via Study: Nearly half are overqualified for their jobs.