But they aren’t offering pay increases
An FKD Feature exclusive

Although workers without bachelor’s degrees are switching jobs at the highest rate since 2014, their salaries have fallen slightly in the past year. Why is it? Although the rate of unemployment for workers 25 and up with bachelor’s degrees is at a record low of 2.1 percent, it seems that employers are not trying to lure in less educated workers through promises of increased pay. In fact, salary for less educated workers has declined by about $4,700.

Why are less educated workers switching jobs anyway?

It isn’t because they are chasing more money, that is for sure. One reason is that employers are being forced to cast a wider net to ensnare employees. This is due to the exorbitantly diminished unemployment rate. Experienced workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher said they would leave their job for $81,900 compared to less-educated workers who would leave their job for $47,300 according to a survey by the New York Fed. Less-educated workers are a bargain!

If not cash, how are workers being lured?

It isn’t benefits either. The share of less-educated workers who say they are satisfied with their benefits has remained the same at 63 percent for the past year compared to more highly educated workers, who reported a 74 percent satisfaction rate.

“There is a significant rise in the proportion of respondents without a college degree who are satisfied with the career progression opportunities at their current jobs,” Federal Reserve Bank of New York economist Gizem Kosar told The Washington Post.

That’s right. The share of less-educated workers who are satisfied with their career-advancement opportunities has risen by a remarkable 10 percentage points in the past year. It is, at 51 percent, five percentage points higher than that of college-educated workers.

“Less-educated workers might be finally moving to firms with higher productivity and with better opportunities for themselves,” Kosar said. In the absence of an immediate salary bump, they are likely counting on raises or more lucrative offers in the future.


Less-educated workers aren’t increasing their salaries or their benefits. But they may finally be finding jobs that match their talent and their ambition. This is a marked change from the past. Now that the unemployment rate is so low, there is potential for great advancement for the less-educated workers of the United States as employers are forced into searching farther and broader for their employees.


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Posted 10.25.2018 - 09:00 am EDT