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Talent Acquisition

Where Have All the Middle-Wage Jobs Gone?

middle-wage jobsYou’ve heard about “Middle Child Syndrome,” right? The oldest child typically receives the lion’s share of parents’ attention and excitement. As an added bonus, they need never be seen wearing hand-me-downs in public. Then there’s the youngest child who’s typically the most sheltered and spoiled. That leaves the poor forgotten middle child to feel left out and invisible. A similar trend can be seen when it comes to jobs.

As it turns out, middle-wage jobs have been on the decline for a number of years. The share of middle-wage or middle-skill jobs in the United States has fallen from 25 percent in 1985 to just about 15 percent in the present day, according to research from the Federal Reserve.

More specifically, middle-wage jobs — defined as ones that pay between $13.84 and $21.13 an hour — accounted for 1 in 4 (25 percent) of all new jobs that have been added in the United States since 2010. That number lags behind the 29 percent of high-wage jobs added and the 46 percent of low-wage jobs, according to a new study by CareeBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI).

For a breakdown of the types of middle-wage occupations on the rise post-recession as well as best and worst states to find these types of jobs, check out this new press release.

Deanna Hartley

About Deanna Hartley

Deanna Hartley is a senior copywriter and community manager on the creative services team at CareerBuilder, where she writes about issues that are top of mind for employers and recruiters – including talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. An avid social media user, Deanna is the face behind @CBforEmployers on Twitter as well as CBforEmployers’ Facebook and Instagram pages, so it’s easy to stay connected with her. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Deanna was a senior editor for the Human Capital Media Group, publishers of Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive and Workforce Management magazines. Deanna holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves caffeine, social media, pop culture and dogs – though not necessarily in that order.


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