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Census: Journalism majors make about $50,000

By: Julie Moos

November 07, 2011

Journalism majors do slightly better than English majors in the job market, according to 2010 U.S. Census data. The median annual salary for both is $50,000, the same as it is for advertising and PR majors, history majors and communications majors. But the lowest and highest-paid English majors earn less than their journalist counterparts. Journalists have a slightly higher unemployment rate (7 percent) than any of those other majors. The most popular majors are business, business management, accounting, nursing and psychology. Journalism is the 25th most popular major out of 173.

         Major Unemployment % 25% earnings Median earnings 75% earnings
Advertising & PR 6.1% $36,000 $50,000 $74,000
Communications 6.3% $35,000 $50,000 $81,000
English 6.7% $32,000 $48,000 $75,000
Journalism 7.0% $34,000 $50,000 $79,000

Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show that journalists make up a slightly larger portion of the U.S. workforce than in 2000. At that time, 5.55 percent of the U.S. workforce was made up of journalists; in 2010, journalists were 5.82 percent of the workforce. However, women and people of color have not fared as well.

Women made up 46.4 percent of the total workforce in 2000 and were overrepresented among journalists, making up 55.7 percent of that workforce. African-Americans were 11.1 percent of the total workforce in 2000 and were underrepresented in journalism as 8.2 percent of that workforce.

In 2010, women made up a larger percentage of the total workforce — 47.2 percent — but were underrepresented among journalists at 46.9 percent. African-Americans dropped as a percentage of the total workforce — down to 10.8 — and dropped even further to only 3 percent of journalists.

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