Report – Tracking the Recovery after the Great Recession

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 31, 2012

“This report updates the National Employment Law Project previous analyses of job loss and job growth trends during and after the Great Recession. We find that during the recession (2008 Q1 to 2010 Q1), employment losses occurred throughout the economy, but were concentrated in mid-wage occupations. By contrast, during the recovery (2010 Q1 to 2012 Q1), employment gains have been concentrated in lower-wage occupations, which grew 2.7 times as fast as mid-wage and higher-wage occupations. Specifically:

  • Lower-wage occupations constituted 21 percent of recession losses, but 58 percent of recovery growth.

  • Mid-wage occupations constituted 60 percent of recession losses, but only 22 percent of recovery growth.
  • Higher-wage occupations constituted 19 percent of recession job losses, and 20 percent of recovery growth.
  • Moreover, the unbalanced recession and recovery have meant that the long-term rise in inequality in the U.S. continues. The good jobs deficit is now deeper than it was at the start of the century: Since the first quarter of 2001, employment has grown by 8.7 percent in lower-wage occupations and by 6.6 percent in higher-wage occupations. By contrast, employment in mid-wage occupations has fallen by 7.3 percent.”

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