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Where The Rising Wages Are?

With the September jobs report, perhaps one of the most irrelevant monthly updates from the BLS in a long time, due out in less than half an hour, BofA's Chart of the Day looks at what has become the most sticky issue in the monthly jobs report of late: where the inflation-adjusted income growth, or lack thereof, can be found. 

What it finds is that the average American can still hope for rising real wages: they just have to be massively underwater on unrepayable student debt. To wit: 

As of 2013, the median income for college graduates was about $80,000 compared to about $40,000 for high school graduates. We can see that the median inflation-adjusted income for those who did not graduate college has decreased dramatically since 1991 when the data first became available. Those with bachelor's degrees have fared better, and those with graduate degrees have fared even better. 

Because in the new normal "fared better" somehow means suffering a decline in real wages over the past two decades!

To paraphrase: only those with specialized post-grad education have seen any increase in real income. Everyone else: sorry. Of course, the question then is - has that tiny sliver of post-grad educated workers used their modestly rising wages (up to a max of 5%) to first pay off their mountain of student debt... or last. We are confident BofA, which obviously is pimping a college education for those who want to see rising wages yet completely ignores the cost-benefit analysis of rising wages offset by hundreds of thousands of additional student loans, will get right on it.