Janitors, clerks and waiters with college degrees

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(Moneywatch) Fourteen percent of the nation's waiters and waitresses -- 323,223 altogether -- possess bachelor's degrees.

More than 83,000 bartenders (16.5 percent) have earned a bachelor's degree, and so have 115,500 janitors (five percent).

These numbers aren't flukes, according to Richard Vedder, a professor at Ohio University and director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity .

"Half of adults with bachelor's degrees are doing jobs that require less education according to Labor Department statistics," said Vedder, who discussed job credential inflation at a weekend conference of the Education Writers Association in Indianapolis.

Percentage of college grads working in jobs not requiring bachelor's degrees
What follows are jobs with the percentage of workers that have four-year degrees, as well as the number holding these positions:

-- Customers service reps 22% (481,206)
-- Secretaries/admin assistants 16.8% (341,410)
-- Waiters/waitresses 14.3% (323,223)
-- Executive secretaries 16.8% (207,665)
-- Receptionist/info clerks 13.0% (136,305)
-- Janitors 5.0% (115,520)
-- Laborers 5.2% (107,546)
-- Bartenders 16.5% (83,028)
-- Heavy truck drivers 5.0% (80,240)
-- Grounds-keeping workers 6.8% (78,302)
-- Carpenters 7.3% (73,124)
-- Amusement/recreation attendants 23.5% (61,406)
-- Food preparation workers 7.0% (56,959)
-- Construction laborers 5.6% (55,933)
-- Telemarketers 18.0% (52,326)
-- Mail carriers 13.5 (42,755)
-- Electricians 7.1% (40,967)
-- Hotel/motel clerks 17.1% (38,903)
-- Flight attendants 29.7%  (26,879)
--Parking lot attendants 12.9% (16,138)

What's happening?
It's easy to see why job credential inflation is happening in the job market, Vedder suggests. Even though a worker doesn't need a degree to pour a beer or mop a floor, it can be easier for employers to narrow the applicant pool by only considering college graduates, who are looking for any kind of paycheck that they can get.



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