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There are two problems with the jobs recovery to date. Employers haven't added enough jobs. And those they have added aren't particularly good ones.
The former has gotten a lot of attention. But the low-wage jobs that have been added are also a cause for concern.
"Growth has been concentrated in mid-wage and lower-wage industries. By contrast, higher-wage industries showed weak growth and even net losses," said Annette Bernhardt, policy co-director for the National Employment Law Project. She said that growth has been far more unbalanced than during previous job recoveries.
Bernhardt's analysis of the first seven months of 2010 found that 76% of jobs created were in low- to mid-wage industries -- those earning between $8.92 to $15 an hour, well below the national average hourly wage of $22.60.
But the biggest problem is continued job losses in higher-wage industries severely hit by the bursting of the housing bubble -- construction and financial services. Recoveries in those sectors helped lead the economy out of earlier downturns, but they're still suffering more than a year and a half after the official end of the Great Recession.
High-wage sectors -- made up of jobs that pay between $17.43 and $31 an hour -- accounted for nearly half the jobs lost during the recession, but have produced only 5% of the new jobs since hiring resumed, Bernhardt's study showed....