Where are the good jobs? Maybe the better question would be what happened to the good jobs, because according to a new report many of them are gone.
Despite the fact that the job market is improving slightly, the number of good jobs isn't increasing. In fact, according to a new study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) the number of good jobs - defined as a job that pays at least $37,000 per year ($18.50/hour), has employer-provided health insurance, and an employer-sponsored retirement plan - started declining over the last 30 years - before the recession.
The percentage of workers with a good job fell from 27.4% in 1979 to 24.6% in 2010. In fact, relative to 1979 the economy has lost about one-third of its capacity to generate good jobs.
Here are more results from the study:
- Workers with four years or more of college are less likely to have a good job now than thirty years ago.
- Many jobs in state and local government have been privatized and outsourced.
- The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage today is 15% below what it was in 1979.
CEPR attributes the loss of good jobs to the "deterioration in the bargaining power of workers, especially those at the middle and the bottom of the income scale" not to the lack of educational attainment by workers. The report concludes:
The standard explanation for the deterioration in the economy's ability to create good jobs is that most workers' skills have not kept up with the rapid pace of technological change. The good jobs data, however, are not consistent with that view. If technological change were behind the decline in good jobs, then we would expect that a higher - probably substantially higher - share of workers with a four-year college degree or more would have good jobs today.
Instead, at every age level, workers with four years or more of college are actually less likely to have a good job now than three decades ago. This development is even more surprising because the economy also has almost twice as many workers with advanced degrees today as it did in 1979.
A related question is which jobs are still good jobs? What type of jobs are companies hiring for and which pay the best?
Here's a list of the best jobs for 2012 based on based on work environment, income, outlook, stress and physical demands. Also, take a look at Beyond.com's information on The Top 50 Places to Find a Job for a look at where the jobs are that companies are hiring for.
CEPR Report: Where Have all the Good Jobs Gone?
Image Copyright Center for Economic and Policy Research