The Recovery: Racing to the Bottom?

Yesterday, the Economix Blog at the New York Times had an interesting chart tracing job losses and gains in the aftermath of the Great Recession.  It turns out that the economy shed jobs at the high, middle and low end of the income scale.  But look what happened during the so-called recovery:  The high-end jobs have yet to reappear.  The graph is from a report by the National Employment Law Project.  It describes a decline in middle class jobs and opportunity:

“During the Great Recession, employment losses occurred across the board, but were concentrated in midwage occupations,” the report said. “But in the weak recovery to date, employment growth has been concentrated in lower-wage occupations, with minimal growth in midwage occupations and net losses in higher-wage occupations.”

The report gives additional ammunition to those who argue, like David Autor, an economics professor at M.I.T., that there is a distinct hollowing out of the middle. It found that the number of jobs in midwage occupations remained 8.4 percent below the prerecession peak, while jobs in higher-wage occupations remained 4.1 percent below and lower-wage jobs were just 0.3 percent below their former peak.

You can read the Economix piece here.

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