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Job Growth Hits Higher-Wage Occupations


The majority of jobs lost during the recession were mid-wage jobs, i.e. jobs paying between $13.83 and $21.13 an hour. As of March 2013, 58 percent of jobs gained during the recovery were low-paying, in industries like food service and retail. But that might be in the process of changing: the past two job reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed increases in higher-paying industries like construction and business and professional services.

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(Photo Credit: Tax Credits/Flickr)

“Low-wage jobs lead you out of the recession and then higher wage jobs take over,” UBS economist Drew Matus tells USA Today.

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Last month’s Employment Situation Summary from the Labor Department showed 47,000 added jobs in professional and business services, 28,000 jobs in manufacturing, and 22,000 in construction. Leisure and hospitality was largely flat in July, although retail trade, another sector that frequently comprises low-paying jobs, rose by 27,000 jobs.

June‘s report showed gains of 67,000 jobs in professional and business services , and 23,000 jobs in manufacturing. Construction remained flat, while food services added 33,000 jobs and retail added 40,000 jobs.

In addition, wages are on the rise in construction, professional and business services, and retail. The PayScale Index forecasts a 1.9 percent increase in wages for the third quarter of 2014. Last quarter, wages rose 1.8 percent.

Annual Trends in Compensation for National (US)

National (US)

National (US) Forecast

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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