unDer ATTAck: TexAs’ miDDle clAss AnD The opporTuniTy crisis
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Over the last 20 years, earnings or exas workers (ages 18-64) have grown modestly. Ater increasing in thelate 1990s during the economic boom, real median earnings have remained relatively at. Despite the Great
Recession, exas median earnings peaked
in 2009 at $33,280, although last year they ell to $31,620, roughly where they were a
decade ago. Key to strengthening exas’
middle class will be overcoming this wage
stagnation. Earnings in exas are consis-
tently lower than they are nationally. exas
median earnings were 89 percent o the
national level in 2010 (see Figure 1).
In exas as elsewhere, a college degree isthe surest path to a middle-class income.exas workers with a bachelor’s or gradu-ate degree earn more than twice as muchas those with only a high school diploma($55,080 versus $25,500 in 2010). exasworkers o all education levels experi-
enced earnings gains in the late 1990s but
all except those with a our-year collegedegree had lower earnings in 2010 than2000. Bachelor’s degree-holders ended
the decade at the same earnings level they
attained in 2003. Workers with an associ-ate’s degree lost ground throughout the
decade, whereas high school graduates hadan uptick in earnings only to see them allsince 2004 (see Figure 2).
FiGure 2.Median annual earninGs OF texaswOrkers by educatiOn, 1990-2010 (2011 dOllars)FiGure 1.Median annual earninGs OF wOrkersin texas and the u.s., 1990-2010 (2011 dOllars)
TEXAS UNITED STATES$25,000$27,000$29,000$31,000$33,000$35,000$37,000
$10,000$15,000$20,000$25,000$30,000$35,000$40,000$45,000$50,000$55,000$60,000BACHELOR’S DEGREE OR MOREASSOCIATE’S DEGREESOME COLLEGE, NO DEGREEHIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMALESS THAN HIGH SCHOOLCOMPLETED
Dēmos analysis of Current Populaon Survey data
Demos analysis of Current Populaon Survey data using 3-year averages.Data not available for “Some College, No Degree” prior to 1993.