Thanks to, among other things, a falling labor force participation rate, U.S. unemployment is now down to 7.5%. It’s important to note though that the job gains of the last few years have not been equivalent to the jobs that were lost.
Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin asserted in a recent speech that the jobs recovery has been fueled by lower wage occupations.
About two-thirds of all job losses in the recession were in middle-wage occupations–such as manufacturing, skilled construction, and office administration jobs–but these occupations have accounted for less than one-fourth of subsequent job growth. In contrast, the decline in lower-wage occupations–such as retail sales, food service, and other lower-paying service jobs–accounted for only one-fifth of job loss and more than one-half of total job gains in the recovery.
A note from Credit Suisse divides jobs in the U.S. into two broad categories: high wage jobs and low wage jobs.
In April, far more low wage jobs were added than high wage jobs, and further suggests that a significant structural employment shift has occurred.