Yellen: Best job mar­ket in nearly decade

Fed­eral Re­serve chair speaks at Univer­sity of Bal­ti­more com­mence­ment.

The Times-Tribune - - Business - BY MARTIN CRUT­SINGER

WASH­ING­TON — Fed­eral Re­serve Chair Janet Yellen said Mon­day that col­lege grad­u­ates are en­ter­ing the strong­est job mar­ket the coun­try has seen in nearly a decade, and their de­gree is more im­por­tant than ever.

Ms. Yellen said that with changes in the job mar­ket such as tech­nol­ogy and glob­al­iza­tion, suc­ceed­ing in the job mar­ket is in­creas­ingly tied to higher ed­u­ca­tion.

“Those with a col­lege de­gree are more likely to find a job, keep a job, have higher job sat­is­fac­tion and earn a higher salary,” Ms. Yellen said in re­marks at com­mence­ment cer­e­monies at the Univer­sity of Bal­ti­more.

She said that an­nual earn­ings for col­lege grad­u­ates last year were on av­er­age 70 per­cent higher than those with only a high school diploma. Back in 1980 that dif­fer­ence was only 20 per­cent, she said.

Ms. Yellen said the in­creas­ing de­mand for peo­ple with col­lege and grad­u­ate de­grees re­flected the need for higher tech­no­log­i­cal skills and the im­pact of glob­al­iza­tion, which al­lows goods and ser­vices to be pro­duced any­where. She said those trends were likely to con­tinue.

“Suc­cess will con­tinue to be tied to ed­u­ca­tion, in part be­cause a good ed­u­ca­tion en­hances one’s abil­ity to adapt to a chang­ing econ­omy,” she said.

Ms. Yellen said that in ad­di­tion to the im­prove­ment in the un­em­ploy­ment rate, which in Novem­ber fell to a nine-year low of 4.6 per­cent, there have been re­cent signs that wage growth is pick­ing up.

But Ms. Yellen noted that chal­lenges re­main.

“The econ­omy is grow­ing more slowly than in past re­cov­er­ies and pro­duc­tiv­ity growth, which is a ma­jor in­flu­ence on wages, has been dis­ap­point­ing,” she told the grad­u­ates.


Fed­eral Re­serve Board Chair Janet Yellen, cen­ter, is hooded for an hon­orary doc­tor of laws de­gree be­fore speak­ing at the Univer­sity of Bal­ti­more’s fall com­mence­ment in Bal­ti­more on Mon­day.

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