Sunday, May 30, 2010

Density of Earnings

Richard Florida wrote The Creative Class, founded a similarly-named consulting firm and writes a column for Rob Pitingolo is a recent college grad who analyzed the geographic density of bachelor's and graduate degree holders in 52 major cities. Florida recently featured Rob's analysis in a piece titled The Density of Smart People.

Rob's file was made available for download from TheRaven modified Rob's work by adding BLS occupational pay data. The modified file (which was returned to Rob and Richard) demonstrates various degrees of correlation between the geographic concentration of degree holders and higher earnings for almost all occupations that require higher education, and also for many that do not.

UPDATE: you can download the Excel file used to produce all charts in this post. The file is stored at Docstoc, download it for free here. Zero Excel skills are required. The file is operated only with a mouse. Excel2007 or Excel2010 is required.

This post looks at ten occupations - five that require higher education and five that do not. Each series is presented in order of most-to-least correlation between degree density and occupation earnings. The BLS tracks 800 occupations, so the 10 presentations in this post are illustrative but not representative. The modified analysis allows user selection of a specific point on the BLS pay range. All presentations here use mean pay data.

Click any image to see it full-size.

A. Higher education required - 1. Chemistry Teachers, post-secondary
A. Higher education required - 2. IT Managers
A. Higher education required - 3. Graphic Designers
A. Higher education required - 4. Civil Engineers
A. Higher education required - 5. Primary Care Physicians
B. Higher education not required - 1. Electricians

B. Higher education not required - 2. Plumbers
B. Higher education not required - 3. Real Estate Agents
B. Higher education not required - 4. Fire Fighters
B. Higher education not required - 5. Letter Carriers
After testing dozens of occupations across their pay range, very few were noted to show minimal or inverse correlation with degree density. Higher concentrations of educated people seem to benefit everyone.

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