The jobs that went away with the Great Recession have returned, but they pay less.
That’s the bottom line of an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the National Employment Law Project.
During the labor market downturn between January 2008 and February 2010, employment losses occurred throughout the economy, but were concentrated in mid-wage and higher-wage industries.
By contrast, during the recovery — measured from February 2010 to February 2014 — employment gains have been concentrated in lower-wage industries.
“As a result of unbalanced employment growth, the types of jobs available to unemployed workers, new labor market entrants, and individuals looking to move up the career ladder are distinctly different today than they were prior to the recession,” says the report.
- Lower-wage industries constituted 22 percent of recession losses, but 44 percent of recovery growth.
- Mid-wage industries constituted 37 percent of recession losses, but only 26 percent of recovery growth.
- Higher-wage industries constituted 41 percent of recession losses, and 30 percent of recovery growth.
Four years into the current recovery, private sector employment growth is stronger than it was at the same point following the 2001 recession. Nonetheless, it has taken longer to restore pre-recession employment levels as job losses were greater during the most recent downturn.
Since hitting bottom, private sector employment has increased for 49 consecutive months as employers added 8.9 million jobs through March 2014. Just over six years after the start of the recession, employment levels have finally returned to the previous peak of 2008.