A lot has been said about the employment situation over the past few months leading up into this election. Even Bernanke said today that the Fed lacked the tools to fully address unemployment going forward, although he will surely do all he can to effect it. Ran across a survey the other day at work done by the NELP which was actually pretty interesting. Here are some numbers about job recovery in the past few years:
- Lower-wage occupations were 21 percent of recession losses, but 58 percent of recovery growth.
- Mid-wage occupations were 60 percent of recession losses, but only 22 percent of recovery growth.
- Higher-wage occupations were 19 percent of recession job losses, and 20 percent of recovery growth.
- Since 2001, mid paying jobs fell by 7.3%, whereas Low and High paying have gained 8.7 and 6.6% respecitvely.
Now, all of that is actually pretty interesting but really supports the commonly talked about destruction of the middle class in this country. Going further, the study looked at workforce trends coming in and out of the 'recession'. One of the more interesting passages:
Steep losses in construction, FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate), and manufacturing during the recession created a large deficit in mid-wage occupations. These industries are not showing enough growth, and especially in the case of construction, are unlikely to get back to pre-recession levels any time soon. There has also been a long-term and continuing decline in the information sector, contributing to the deficit of higher-wage jobs. Finally, deep cuts in state and local government during the recovery (a loss of 485,000 jobs since February 2010) occurred largely in mid- and higher-wage jobs.
As a note, Middle Wage jobs were considered to be from $13.84 to $21.13 per hour.Do you guys have any reactions to this? Are we too focused on quantity over quality or are those middle paying jobs simply not coming back? Is this a new normal trend in employment markets?