Money Minute: A College Degree Still Pays; Bitcoin Exchanges End Payouts


The high cost of not going to college. The wage gap between workers with a college education and those without one is growing. The Pew Research Center reports that millennials with a college degree -- those aged 25 to 32 -- earn more, have greater job satisfaction, and lower unemployment rates than workers with just a high school education. Check the numbers: the average salary for those with a college degree is more than $45,000. That wage compares to $28,000 for high school-only graduates. Also, the unemployment rate is less than 4 percent for college grads; more than 12 percent for high school grads.

Millennials surveyed overwhelming feel their college degree was worth the high cost. The report notes that even good-paying factory jobs now require more education than a high school degree.

A pair of major European-based bitcoin exchanges aren't allowing their customers to make withdrawals. Both Bitstamp and BTC-e have been hit by denial-of-service hacker attacks,
overwhelming their websites. This comes just days after Japanese-based Mt. Gox cut off withdrawals. They all blame software problems, but the moves are shaking confidence in the alternative currency.

Whole Foods Market (WFM) isn't accepting bitcoins, but it is trying out a new payment process. The chain will allow customers at select stores to use Square to make payments using their smartphones and tablets, in an effort to speed the check-out process for certain items.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rallied 193 points Tuesday, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 43 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) rose 20 points. The S&P is now back within 2 percent of its all-time high set at the very end of last year.

Finally, the House Transportation Committee voted unanimously to bar the Transportation Department from allowing airline passengers to make cellphone calls. There's apparently widespread opposition because of the noise and possible disruption all of the chatter would create. The bill wouldn't stop passengers from emailing, texting or surfing the Internet.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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