Sure, the economy is adding jobs these days…but most of those positions pay pretty poorly.
Some 58% of the jobs created during the recovery have been low-wage positions, according to a new report by the National Employment Law Project. Only 22% have been mid-wage jobs and 20% higher-wage positions. These low-wage jobs pay $13.83 an hour or less.
“The recovery continues to be skewed toward low-wage jobs, reinforcing the rise in inequality and America’s deficit of good jobs,” said Annette Bernhardt, NELP’s policy co-director. “While there’s understandably a lot of focus on getting employment back to pre-recession levels, the quality of jobs is rapidly emerging as a second front in the struggling recovery.”
The explosion in low-wage job growth comes after the Great Recession hammered the mid-wage job sector. Some 60% of the jobs lost during the downturn were mid-wage, as opposed to 21% of low-wage and 19% of higher-wage positions.
The fastest growing low-wage jobs include retail salespeople, food prep workers, laborers and freight workers, waiters and waitresses, personal and home care aides, office clerks and customers representatives.