NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- A good job is hard to find in this economy, but one recent report shows it's not impossible.

Of all the jobs lost during the recession and its aftermath, the occupations that were hardest hit were midlevel positions, which accounted for 60% of the jobs lost between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2010, according to an analysis of labor data by the National Employment Law Project.

Midwage positions are defined as those paying between $13.53 and $20.66 an hour, or roughly $28,000 to $43,000 a year, and these are typically the jobs that serve as the bread and butter for many lower- and middle-income Americans.

During the economic recovery that followed the recession, the labor market showed modest signs of improvement, but most of the new jobs were low-wage positions, which the NELP found expanded by 3.2% between the first quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011. By comparison, midwage jobs grew by just 1.2% during that time period.

Even so, some of the good jobs have started to return. NELP singled out several midwage positions that added tens of thousands of jobs in the same period. Not all have bright employment prospects in the long term, but if you are looking for a good, paying job right now, these may just be your best bet.

Ninth-biggest growth: First-line supervisors of production and operating workers
The construction industry was hit hard by the recession as the housing crunch cut into the sector's business, and in the years since the recession ended has continued to struggle. But some professions within the industry have fared better than others, including first-line supervisors, who oversee the day-to-day operations of machine setters, assemblers, system operators and more.
Employment growth between 2010-11: 79,622
Median hourly wage: $19.45

Eighth-biggest growth: Sales representatives, services, all other
Sales associates and cashiers often rank on the lower end of the pay scale, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these particular representatives typically work in better-paying industries such as telecommunications and computer systems design, accounting for their growth.
Employment growth between 2010-11: 80,379
Median hourly wage: $20.43

Seventh-biggest growth: Bailiffs, correctional officers and jailers
This industry may be hiring, but there is a trade-off. As reported, working as a correctional officer is one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S., with the fifth-highest number of injuries of any profession in 2009, and the second-highest rate of injuries caused by assault.
Employment growth between 2010-11: 81,609
Median hourly wage: $16.09

Sixth-biggest growth: Telecommunications line installers and repairers
Not only did this profession add nearly 100,000 workers, but these employees had the highest median salary of any on this list, earning $20.66 an hour or just more than $40,000 a year when working full time. That said, working as a line installer or repairman may not be the best long-term strategy; the BLS projects this profession will shrink by 11% in the 10-year period ending in 2018.
Employment growth between 2010-11: 94,997
Median hourly wage: $20.66

Fifth-biggest growth: Preschool and kindergarten teachers
Teachers in elementary school and preschool, on the other hand, are increasing their ranks now and are expected to continue expanding throughout the decade. In particular, the BLS notes that those who teach math, science and foreign languages or who teach in urban and rural areas will be increasingly in demand in the years to come.
Employment growth between 2010-11: 98,330
Median hourly wage: $13.74

Fourth-biggest growth: Food service managers
As previous studies have pointed out, the food services industry added more jobs than any other last year, but unfortunately most tend to be low-paying positions. One clear exception is food services managers, who earn nearly twice as much as dishwashers, fast food chefs and others in the industry.
Employment growth between 2010-11: 136,937
Median hourly wage: $15

Third-biggest growth: Metal workers and plastic workers, all other
According to the BLS, these workers most often manufacture steel, cutlery, spring and wire and earn a decent wage doing so.
Employment growth between 2010-11: 140,966
Median hourly wage: $14.15

Second-biggest growth: Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks
If the financial crisis of 2008 is evidence of anything, it's that we need more auditors. And by all accounts, that seems to be exactly what is happening. This profession grew by 150,000 last year and the first quarter of 2011, and the BLS estimates it will grow even more by 2018.
Employment growth between 2010-11: 150,269
Median hourly wage: $15.61

Biggest growth: Machinists
No industry added more jobs than machinists last year and in the beginning of 2011, but the long-term job prospects for these workers is mixed. According to the BLS, the total number of workers employed as machinists is expected to decline by 5% between 2008 and 2018, partly because of increased competition from companies abroad, but also because fewer people are expected to pursue the necessary studies to become machinists. As a result, even though there will be fewer machinists, those who pursue this career path should have an easier time finding work at home.
Employment growth between 2010-11: 158,546
Median hourly wage: $17.38

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