WASHINGTON (6/11/14)--Though the U.S. economy has just about recouped all the jobs it lost after the economic downturn, questions remain about the quality of the jobs that have been returned.
About 138.46 million citizens were employed last month, according to numbers released by the Labor Department last week, just edging out the 138.37 million Americans who were employed in January 2008, the most ever (MarketWatch June 10).
But in addition to the fact that the percentage of people who have jobs has fallen nearly 5% since 2008, it may also be concerning to learn just what types of jobs have been brought back in recent years.
According to Labor Department numbers, it seems as if the economy is replacing high-paying jobs with low-paying jobs, as the average wage has dropped to $24.38 an hour.
Manufacturing and construction jobs, which boast above-average pay scales, have fallen by 2.3% since 2008, while other high-paying jobs such as those in wholesale trade, the financial sector, government and information services have also fallen short of returning to pre-recession levels, according to MarketWatch.
All told, the United States offers 4 million fewer well-paying jobs than it did in January 2008.
Industries that have seen rising job numbers in recent years were health care, food preparation, white-collar professional and business services, and education.
While some of these industries can offer high pay, Labor Department numbers show that the economy has failed to add 3 million of these types of jobs that pay more than the average hourly wage.