Good news: The job market is firmly on the rebound. So why are economists still concerned?
Though millions of positions have been created since the 2008 recession, there’s a catch, a new analysis of job data by the National Employment Law Project finds: These new gigs tend to offer much paltrier paychecks than the jobs they replaced.
The report found that positions in lower-wage industries (like food services and retail) have accounted for an astounding 44% of overall job market growth in the last four years—even though they only made up about 22% of those cut during the downturn.
In comparison, high-wage industries have been slow to grow: Although positions in these fields were responsible for up to 41% of all job losses, they now only make up about 30% of recent growth. Same goes for mid-range gigs, which made up about 37% of the recession’s cut jobs, but account for 26% of today’s job growth.
“Low-wage workers are very easy to bring on and very easy to let go,” Michael Evangelist, author of the study, told NBC News. “So you need strong economic growth to boost these mid- and high-wage industries and increase hiring there.”