Catherine Rampell finds a chart:
As you can see, most men today earn less than equally educated men in 1979, with the exception of the most highly educated. The opposite is true for women: Most women today earn more than their equally educated counterparts from 1979, with the exception of the least educated.
Joyner calls this chart evidence that earnings have plummeted over the last 30 years:
In 1979, most married women stayed at home with the kids or simply tended house; that almost immediately changed. And, while being a high-school dropout wasn’t exactly a road to riches even then, there were still entry level jobs that would take you and allow you to work yourself up if you were good enough.
Derek Thompson adds:
The upshot is that even as the cost of college comes under scrutiny, the evidence continues to suggests that four expensive years is the price our generation has to pay if we expect to earn more than our parents.