For the first time since the economic recovery began six years ago, white-collar professionals with specialized skills in fields like technology, finance, engineering and software find themselves in the catbird seat.
But despite the steady addition of more than 200,000 jobs a month and a decline in the official jobless rate to a postrecession low of 5.3 percent, most American workers, including many college graduates, still face lukewarm wage growth at best and very limited bargaining power with bosses.
Strikingly, this feast-or-famine pattern does not simply pit people with less than a college degree against their more highly educated peers. It is also pronounced even within the 32 percent of American workers who are college graduates.
Since the beginning of 2014, median wages for all holders of a bachelor’s degree or more have risen 2.7 percent, compared with about 2 percent for all workers. Among the top 10 percent of earners holding college degrees, however, wages are up more than 6 percent.