Tags: Employment | project | low-pay | recovery

Study: New Jobs Typically Paying Lower Wages Than in the Past

Friday, 31 August 2012 12:40 PM

Mid-level, decent-paying jobs evaporated during the recession and the jobs creeping back into the economy tend to be lower-skill, low-paying jobs, a new study finds.

Mid-skill, mid-wage jobs are threatening to become a thing of the past, the report from the National Employment Law Project shows.

“The overarching message here is we don’t just have a jobs deficit; we have a ‘good jobs’ deficit,” Annette Bernhardt, the report’s author and policy co-director of the research and advocacy group, tells The New York Times.

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

The report analyzed the employment trends of 366 occupations tracked by the Labor Department and divided them into three groups according to wage.

Jobs in the middle third of wages — occupations in fields like construction, manufacturing and information — accounted for 60 percent of job losses from the beginning of 2008 to early 2010, but have accounted for only 22 percent of recovery job growth, while jobs in the lower third of wages — food services, retail and laborers — accounted for 21 percent of job losses, but have accounted for 58 percent of all job growth.

The upper third — professional and technical services — is breaking even, representing 19 percent of job losses during the downturn and 20 percent of job gains amid the recovery.

Retail sales and food-prep workers have seen strong growth, though the study points out that recent college graduates and the elderly looking for part-time work may be fueling that trend, at least in part, The Times reports.

“This is not just a nice, smooth process,” said Henry Siu, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia, The Times adds.

“A lot of these jobs were suddenly wiped out during recession and are not coming back.”

Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. for the first time last week held steady at 374,000, worse than expectations for a decline of 4,000.

That doesn’t bode well for the August jobs report, which will be released next week, some analysts say, and they aren’t bracing for pleasant surprises.

“Given some of the indicators seen so far, the August payroll report is not going to look terribly inspirational,” Jennifer Lee, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a note to clients, according to The Associated Press.

Editor's Note: See the Disturbing Charts: 50% Unemployment, 90% Stock Market Crash, 100% Inflation

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Friday, 31 August 2012 12:40 PM
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