The 'good jobs' are finally back, report says. And they're going to college grads.

Study finds 97% of new, high-paying jobs went to degree holders from 2010-2014

Nearly 3 million jobs added during the economic recovery following the Great Recession are "good jobs" that pay at least $53,000 a year—and nearly all of those are going to college graduates, according to a new report from the Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce.

Released Monday, the study found that 44% of the 6.6 million jobs created from 2010 to 2014 were good jobs—and 97% of them went to college graduates.

For the report, researchers used census data to group jobs into 485 occupations—rather than industries—calculated the median annual earnings, and divided them into three tiers. The top earners were the "good jobs."

Many of the new jobs created were in managerial, STEM, and health-care professions.

And while many college-educated individuals were unemployed or underemployed during the recession, those levels were much higher for people with just a high school degree or less, says Anthony Carnevale, lead author of the report.

The best entry level jobs for new graduates

"We don't have enough jobs yet and that means that the college graduates are first in line and they're bumping out the people who aren't college graduates," Carnevale says. "If you've got a high school degree and you had a good middle-skill job you were very much at risk." 

However, another study from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) using a different methodology found that minimum wage and low-paying jobs drove growth during the recovery.

That is likely because NELP researchers analyzed information by industry—not occupation. Additionally, Georgetown's study looked at data through 2014—during which job growth picked up. In contrast, NELP's study works with data ending in February 2014.

Both studies did come to the conclusion that middle-wage jobs still have not recovered. About 900,000 such positions need to be created to reach pre-2008 levels (Supiano, Chronicle of Higher Education, 8/17; Berman, MarketWatch, 8/17).

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