Hiring grows for graduate degree holders despite the specter of AI: New Hires Quality Index

Graduate degree recipients pose

The Upjohn Institute New Hires Quality Index rose for the second month, up 0.1 percent between January and February, to $20.02. Hiring volume fell a full 1.0 percent in February and is down 2.8 percent since the start of the COVID outbreak.

The hiring drop, combined with the stagnant wage index, suggest the labor market is weaker than it appears, index creator Brad Hershbein writes in this month’s news release. Looking at newly hired workers with at least some college education, Hershbein finds that workers with graduate degrees have fared better in hiring volume than those with less education.

Hiring volume actually grew for this group, up 0.5 percent since February 2023, while falling 5.0 percent for newly hired workers with only some college or an associate degree and 3.9 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree.

Graduate degree holders’ share of the total earning power of all newly hired workers remains near a series high at 17 percent. The rise of artificial intelligence seems to have spared this group, Hershbein concludes: “AI has decidedly not come for the jobs of the most educated.”

Read the full release or explore the index. 

Date: April 3, 2024