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How All The Good Jobs Disappeared
If Americans are so much better educated and older, why has the share of Americans with “good” jobs gone down in the past few years?
The Center for Economic and Policy Research’s John Schmitt and Janelle Jones are determined to figure out why.
Their study is called Where Have All The Good Jobs Gone?
In the paper (via Matt Yglesias), they document that jobs paying at least $ 37,000 per year, having employer-provided health insurance and an employer-sponsored retirement plan fell from 27.4 percent in 1979 to 24.6 percent in 2010.
“The decline in the economy’s ability to create good jobs is related to a deterioration in the bargaining power of workers, especially those at the middle and the bottom of the income scale. The main cause of the loss of bargaining power is the large-scale restructuring of the labor market that began at the end of the 1970s and continues to the present.”
Falling unionization rates, deregulation, trade policy, immigration and an obsession with inflation at the expense of job creation have overwhelmed the larger social force an aging and better-educated workforce would have constituted.
Whether you agree or disagree with that conclusion, the following 9 charts show a clear decline in “good” jobs began right around 1980, and that rather than clotheslining an apparently perpetual boom, the 2008 financial crisis caused us to return to a mean.
First, the workforce snapshot. Education levels have gone way up
Well, so has the average worker’s age
But looking at the past 30 years, it’s basically gotten us nowhere