Recessions are costing America middle-class jobs.
Over the past two decades, U.S. employers often have laid off routine, middle-skill workers during recessions, while failing to bring those jobs back during the recoveries that followed, according to a paper by economists Nir Jaimovich of Duke University and Henry Siu of the University of British Columbia. Instead, mostly low-skill and high-skill jobs are being created as a result.
The findings help shed light on why low-wage jobs have predominated in the nation's current economic recovery. A recent paper by the National Employment Law Project found that three-fifths of the jobs that were lost during the recession paid middle incomes, while three-fifths of the jobs that have been created during the economic recovery pay low wages.
For example, food service jobs -- where the average pay is about $18,000 per year -- lately have been one area of notable job growth. Only one in eight food industry workers make a living wage, according to a recent report by the Food Chain Workers Alliance.
(Hat tip: the Washington Post's Suzy Khimm.)