CHICAGO, Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Research from the Federal Reserve shows that the share of middle-skill or middle-wage jobs in the U.S. workforce has dropped from 25 percent in 1985 to just above 15 percent today. While middle-wage jobs have been on the decline for a number of years, a new study from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) shows that there are various fields and states where these positions are thriving.
"Middle-wage positions sustained heavier hits during the recession than other wage groups," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. "This is further indication of a hollowing effect economists have warned about, where middle-wage jobs are thinning out - creating a greater concentration of either high-wage or low-wage positions. While this trend has become more pronounced in the last decade – and has broader implications for the U.S. economy - there are still areas of manufacturing, healthcare, energy and other fields where employment for middle-wage workers is stable and growing at a healthy pace."
For the purpose of this study, CareerBuilder and EMSI defined middle-wage jobs as those that pay between $13.84 and $21.13 per hour. 1 Data on top occupations and locations for middle-wage jobs was pulled from EMSI's extensive labor market database of over 90 national and state employment resources. 2
Middle-Wage Occupations on the RiseOne quarter (25 percent) of all new jobs added in the U.S. since 2010 fall in the middle-wage range, trailing the share of both high-wage jobs (29 percent) and low-wage jobs (46 percent). While automation, offshoring and other factors are driving the declining share of middle-wage jobs, a variety of occupations in this segment have performed well post-recession. Most of these occupations typically require on-the-job training, work experience, or short-term certificates and degrees that community colleges specialize in.
- Customer Service Representatives – added 132,690 jobs since 2010, up 6%Median hourly earnings - $14.91
- Heavy/Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – added 118,541 jobs since 2010, up 7%Median hourly earnings - $18.41
- Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks – added 77,162 jobs since 2010, up 4%Median hourly earnings - $17.02
- Construction Laborers – added 69,148 jobs since 2010, up 6%Median hourly earnings - $14.60
- Machinists – added 49,906 jobs since 2010, up 14%Median hourly earnings - $19.01
- Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers – added 38,153 jobs since 2010, up 11%Median hourly earnings - $17.58
- Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics – added 36,229 jobs since 2010, up 5%Median hourly earnings - $16.47
- Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers and Weighers – added 34,424 jobs since 2010, up 8%Median hourly earnings - $16.81
- Medical Assistants – added 29,949 jobs since 2010, up 5%Median hourly earnings - $14.35
- Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators – added 21,307 jobs since 2010, up 17%Median hourly earnings - $17.14
- Oil, Gas and Mining Service Unit Operators – added 16,690 jobs since 2010, up 38%Median hourly earnings - $20.16