magnifying glass on top of red JOBS wordA study by CareerBuilder and EMSI, using research from the Federal Reserve, shows that mid-skill/mid-wage jobs have dropped from 25 percent of the workforce in 1985 to 15 percent today. However, the new research has found that there remain various fields that are growing and certain states that foster these positions. Mid-wage jobs are defined as those that pay between $13.84 and $21.13 per hour.

“Middle-wage positions sustained heavier hits during the recession than other wage groups,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “This is further indication of a hollowing effect economists have warned about, where middle-wage jobs are thinning out – creating a greater concentration of either high-wage or low-wage positions. While this trend has become more pronounced in the last decade – and has broader implications for the U.S. economy – there are still areas of manufacturing, healthcare, energy and other fields where employment for middle-wage workers is stable and growing at a healthy pace.”

About 25 percent of all new jobs added to the U.S. economy within the past three years have been middle-wage. The most viable mid-wage jobs in 2013 were:

• Customer service representatives – 132,000 jobs added since 2010; median hourly wage – $14.91

• Heavy/tractor-trailer truck drivers – added 118,541 jobs since 2010; median hourly wage – $18.41

• Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks – added 77,162 since 2010; median hourly wage – $17.02

• Construction laborers – added 69,148 since 2010; median hourly wage – $14.60

• Machinists – added 49,906 jobs since 2010; median hourly wage – $19.01

• Welders, cutter, solderers, and brazers – added 38,153 jobs since 2010; median hourly wage – $17.58

• Automotive service technicians and mechanics – added 36,229 jobs since 2010; median hourly wage – $16.47

• Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers – added 34,424 jobs since 2010; median hourly wage – $16.81

• Medical assistants – added 29,949 jobs since 2010; median hourly wage – $14.35

• Computer-controlled machine tool operators – added 21,307 jobs since 2010; median hourly wage – $17.14

• Oil, gas, and mining service unit operators – added 16,690 jobs since 2010; median hourly wage: $2016

Wyoming leads the nation in middle-wage jobs since the end of the recession with 45 percent of new jobs in the state since 2010 being mid wage. Other high performers include Iowa (37 percent), North Carolina (36 percent, and Michigan (35 percent). Lowest performing states include Rhode Island, which actually lost mid-wage jobs since 2010, Mississippi (10 percent), and New York (13 percent).


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