Those darn overpaid NJ teachers sucking the life out of the lagging economy


I start this entry with a graph. We’ve all been hearing about the rough economic times and troubled state budgets. And, in New Jersey we’ve been hearing about how public employees should take the hit, just like private sector employees. At least some media outlets love to to toss around the bombastic rhetoric about how everyone else is suffering and has been for years… while those damn teacher salaries – because of their powerful unions – have just continued to climb and climb – seemingly leaving the rest of us  in the dust.

Well, above is one verison of the story – a comparison of teacher wages with wages from other professions for individuals aged 25 to 40 holding a bachelors or masters degree (degree levels held by most teachers). For this analysis I use hourly wages drawn from decennial census data ( and from the American Community Survey (ACS for 2005). Teacher wages are shown on the blue line, and were relatively competitive in 1980 according to these data. Since 1990 teacher wages have lagged significantly relative to other individuals with a BA or MA (and similar age span) in other professions.

I too was surprised by this.


4 thoughts on “Those darn overpaid NJ teachers sucking the life out of the lagging economy

  1. Bruce,

    Is there a way to make your chart larger? For those of us with post-40 eyes, the detail is impossible to see.

    Yours in decrepitude…..

    1. For a clearer view, right click on the chart and save it to your desktop and open in a graphics program. Unfortunately, this blog format has my image width and file size limited. And, I’ve just been cutting and pasting figures I already have… not taking much time to revise for the blog…

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