Good Jobs Account for Almost Half of All Job Growth During the Recovery, New Georgetown University Study Finds

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Of the 2.9 million good jobs gained in the recovery, 2.8 million have gone to college graduates

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“This has been a weak recovery, but the American job machine is working again for college graduates.”

Contrary to many stories in the media about how low-wage jobs have dominated since the recovery began in 2010, the largest job growth has come from good jobs, according to a new study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Good Jobs Are Back: College Graduates Are First in Line reveals that the economy has added 6.6 million jobs since 2010, 2.9 million of which were good jobs. These jobs paid more than $53,000, tended to be full time and provided health insurance and retirement plans. In addition to the 2.9 million good jobs created, the economy also created 1.9 million middle-wage jobs and 1.8 million low-wage jobs.

“This has been a weak recovery, but the American job machine is working again for college graduates,” said Anthony Carnevale, the Center’s Director and the report’s lead author.

The Georgetown researchers divided the jobs into three tiers based on annual earnings. Each tier differed widely in terms of the share of jobs that are full-time, those that provided health insurance and retirement plans and the share of workers with college degrees.

The majority of good jobs added during the recovery were in managerial (1,780,000), STEM occupations (880,000 jobs) and healthcare professional occupations (445,000 jobs). Among the middle-wage jobs tier, occupations that make up the blue-collar cluster gained the most jobs (860,000). Among the low-wage jobs tier, food, personal services and sales and office support occupations added the most jobs during the recovery (1,053,000).

Both good jobs and low-wage jobs have recovered all recession job losses. The downside of this recovery, researchers find, is that middle-wage jobs have not fully recovered: in spite of the 1.9 million jobs added in the recovery, middle-wage jobs remain 900,000 jobs below their pre-recession employment level.

The full report and technical report for Good Jobs Are Back: College Graduates Are First in Line are available online at http://cew.georgetown.edu/goodjobsareback.

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce is an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between individual goals, education and training curricula, and career pathways. The Center is affiliated with the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy. For more information, visit: http://cew.georgetown.edu. Follow us on Twitter @Cntredwrkfrce and on Facebook.

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Hilary Strahota
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
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Andrea Porter

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