Job Polarization in the United States: A Widening Gap and Shrinking Middle
High Wage- High Skill jobs and Low Wage-Low Skill jobs have been growing in the US workforce since the 1980’s. It’s the Mid Wage-Mid Skill jobs that are contracting hollowing out the middle workforce segment.
In which occupations did jobs grow the most between 1980 and 2009? As it turns out, job growth occurred disproportionately at the upper and lower ends of the wage distribution. In 1980, three-quarters of all workers were employed in mid-skill occupations, by 2009 the share of jobs in the mid-skill category had shrunk to two-thirds.
As a result, the share of jobs at the upper end and lower end of the distribution increased between 1980 and 2009, while the share of jobs in the middle group fell.