The U.S. economy is expected to add 7,232,517 jobs over the next five years — a 5% increase — but a new study from CareerBuilder and Emsi shows that workers in middle-wage jobs may not find as many opportunities.
High-wage and low-wage occupations are each projected to grow 5% from 2016 to 2021, but middle-wage jobs are only estimated to grow 3%. At the same time, 61% of the 173 occupations expected to lose jobs over the next five years are in the middle-wage category.
"The U.S. is facing a sustained trend of declining middle-wage employment that has serious implications not only for workers, but for the economy overall," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. "If we can't find a way to re-skill and up-skill workers at scale, middle-wage workers will become increasingly susceptible to unemployment or will have to move into lower-paying roles that may not support them and their families. This can have a negative ripple effect on consumer spend, housing, investing and other key financial indicators."
For the purpose of this study, CareerBuilder and Emsi defined low-wage jobs as those that pay $13.83 per hour and below; middle-wage jobs earn $13.84 - $21.13 per hour; and high-wage occupations make $21.14 per hour and higher.
The following is a list of occupations that rank among the top for projected growth or declines in employment for each wage category from 2016 to 2021. Each of the growing occupations listed are those adding at least 50,000 jobs over the next five years.