How can we measure the quality of jobs added in the U.S. since the recession? Many argue that though more jobs have been created, those jobs are part time, temporary seasonal, or minimum-wage positions that offer scant benefits and don't provide a decent living wage.
Wall Street Journal staffers Josh Zumbrun and Lam Thuy Vo examined job gains in various sectors and how much those jobs pay, and were able to find trends regarding whether it’s been high-wage or low-wage industries that have added jobs since the recession started. They explain:
It’s also true that many of the shrinking industries have been middle wage. Specialty trade contractors — which includes many construction workers — has seen employment fall by more than 10%. Those jobs paid more than $1,000 a week. Other middle-wage jobs losing employment include many manufacturing industries.
So were all the jobs we created since the recession bad? Well, yes and no. It’s true that many low-wage industries have been growing, many middle-wage industries have shrunk, and more people work part time or for minimum wage than did a decade ago. But it’s also true many middle- and high-wage industries are growing too, and the number of minimum wage and part-time workers has gradually been declining over the past five years.