The Miami Herald out with a piece today on Florida’s job recovery being led by minimum-wage jobs, which also reflects a national trend. The Herald reports,

Florida’s employment recovery hasn’t brought back many well-paying jobs.

That’s the conclusion of a new study timed for Labor Day showing the gaps of the Sunshine State’s slow but unmistakable bounce back in hiring. And it reflects a national trend, driven largely by the ripple effects of the collapsed housing market.

The three industries that account for 63 percent of all minimum-wage jobs in Florida — hospitality, retail and healthcare — also have been leading the recovery, according to the study by Florida International University’s Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy.

The National Employment Law Project looks at employment trends on a national level and concluded in their August brief:

During the recession, employment losses occurred throughout the economy, but were concentrated in mid-wage occupations. By contrast, during the recovery, employment gains have been concentrated in lower-wage occupations, which grew 2.7 times as fast as mid-wage and higher-wage occupations. Specifically:

- Lower-wage occupations were 21 percent of recession losses, but 58 percent of recovery growth.
– Mid-wage occupations were 60 percent of recession losses, but only 22 percent of recovery growth.
– Higher-wage occupations were 19 percent of recession job losses, and 20 percent of recovery growth.

The lower-wage occupations that grew the most during the recovery include retail salespersons, food preparation workers, laborers and freight workers, waiters and waitresses, personal and home care aides, and office clerks and customer representatives.

Even as housing recovers construction hiring remains punk and at its lowest percentage of nonfarm payrolls since 1946 (watch for our piece later in the week).   Coupled with the decline in state and local government hiring it’s no surprise aggregate demand remains weak.

The recovery, at least to us, increasingly looks like it is built on sandy ground.


Category: Think Tank, Wages & Income

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6 Responses to “America’s Minimum Wage Recovery”

  1. Greg0658 says:

    I’ve gotta get .. but – imo the FIRE sector is an easy pinch to win and is squeezing out the harder to accomplish endeavors .. hense less #s of low skill wage jobs

    I don’t care what the Education Secretary is peddling – not everyone born is capable of rocket science – sorry – IQs have a bell curve of > above average \ average / below average

  2. Greg0658 says:

    “easy pinch to win” and/or get back up via: private profits / public losses

  3. Rick Caird says:

    Early in the Bush recovery, there were accusations about “McJobs”. So, I wonder if the lower income jobs come back first. On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be any great mid level job revival on the horizon, either.

  4. gkm says:

    This is very helpful and (unfortunately) fits with what I have been expecting from an analysis of the recovery in jobs.

    What the Fed doesn’t get is that they are what’s keeping jobs from coming back. They look at inflation expectations of consumers and think that’s it. Well, in fact the inflation expectations of businesses are more important to jobs. If you are a business and see inflation brewing, you’ll substitute capital for labor all day long. Simple.

    As the Fed has been really allowing massive inflation since about 2002, it will take some time of demonstrated price stability to get business to take on the risk associated with employing more labor. Unfortunately, the Fed doesn’t seem destined to control that inflation any time soon and certainly won’t have a clear definition of its prerogative in the market eyes if the dual mandate is revoked.

  5. Greg0658 says:

    “you’ll substitute capital for labor all day long. Simple.”

    agreed – especially with all the costs/risks of hire’g someone out of the Big Hall ..
    trade secrets might float
    healthcare kicks in on 90th day
    gets hurt ? physically or mentally – gets a lawyer
    IRS paperwork shuffle
    parking spaces in the lot – table & chairs in the break room :-)

  6. Defining Quality says:

    Serfdom – Manipulate “Free” Market Capatilist’S style!
    Why we worship CentaMillionaire$ and Billionaire$ and refuse to Tax their corruptuon out of existence defies reason.
    Shit like this is beyond criminal and We The People are truly getting what we continually allow and vote into power – politicians owned by the FEW!