Economy Gaining Jobs, but Many Have a Low Salary
The economy has put 1.5 million Americans back to work since last summer, but are the new jobs good jobs?
It depends on where you look...
Economists and critics of the Bush administration who label many of the new jobs as low-paying are largely correct.
The biggest producers of new jobs are employers that pay below average - one of every three new jobs is in restaurants or administrative services - businesses that includes temp agencies, call centers and janitorial services.
At the same time, the administration and its allies have a valid point when they hail the economy as adding numerous new opportunities, many of them well-paid.
Hiring is surging, for example, at medical offices. Architecture, engineering and other technical service businesses are also adding significant numbers of jobs, and there is strong demand for skilled tradesmen expert in masonry and other construction crafts...
The debate over job quality is hashed over data, but it is really about people. The shifting job mix is important because it could signal permanent changes in the economy and the work people do. The bottom line, analysts say, is that the economy is adding both low-paying and better-paid jobs - but they are frequently very poor matches for the positions unemployed workers lost.
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