Middle Wage Jobs Aren’t Keeping Up

October 4, 2018 Matthew Tarpey

 

The U.S. is expected to add over 8 million new jobs in the next five years, but job growth is rarely evenly distributed, and some types of occupations will benefit more than others. According to a recent study by CareerBuilder, only about a quarter of those 8 million new jobs will be in middle-wage occupations.

 

According to the study, high-wage occupations are expected to grow by 5.71 percent from 2018 to 2023, and low-wage jobs will grow by 5.69 percent. Middle-wage occupations, however, will only increase by 3.83 percent.

 

 

 

Occupations in Decline

 

The study looks at jobs projections for 774 occupations tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and identified 121 occupations that will lose jobs between 2018 and 2023. Of these declining occupations, 75 are middle-wage.

 

In total, these 121 occupations are projected to lose 369,879 jobs, with middle-wage occupations accounting for 58 percent of lost jobs.

 

 

 

Technology’s Impact

 

Many of the fastest-growing occupations are technology-based or have technological components. As demand for skilled candidates continues to grow, employers will need to expand their search to new talent pools and become more active in helping employees upskill to meet their evolving technological needs.

 

“Technology innovation is moving at an unprecedented rate and is rapidly redefining the occupations and skills required in the job market,” said Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Most of the fastest-growing occupations have a technical component to them. Employers will need to play a greater role in providing competency-based training to the workforce.”

 

 

 

Growth Across Wage Categories

 

While middle-wage occupations aren’t expected to keep pace with high- and low-wage occupations, there are still many occupations in all three categories that are projected to add jobs. Some examples include:

 

Fast-Growing Occupations By Wage Category

2018 Jobs

2023 Jobs

Jobs Added 2018 to 2023

2018 to 2023

% Change

Median Hourly Earnings

High-Wage

 

 

 

 

 

Registered Nurses

3,040,884

3,295,931

255,047

8.39%

$33.55

Software Developers, Applications

921,232

1,064,698

143,466

15.57%

$48.49

Postsecondary Teachers

1,530,589

1,641,544

110,955

7.25%

$33.53

Accountants and Auditors

1,428,748

1,514,827

86,079

6.02%

$32.33

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

660,150

743,337

83,187

12.6%

$30.21

Computer User Support Specialists

722,078

776,122

54,044

7.48%

$24.16

Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters

508,702

552,327

43,625

8.58%

$23.72

Middle-Wage

 

 

 

 

 

Customer Service Representatives

2,864,930

2,985,603

120,673

4.21%

$15.88

Medical Assistants

705,056

807,330

102,274

14.51%

$15.62

Construction Laborers

1,404,290

1,496,472

92,182

6.56%

$14.73

Maintenance and Repair Workers, General

1,552,441

1,636,372

83,931

5.41%

$18.08

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

753,975

809,320

55,345

7.34%

$21.56

Light Truck or Delivery Service Drivers

954,204

1,003,041

48,837

5.12%

$15.04

Billing and Posting Clerks

515,706

559,989

44,283

8.59%

$17.85

Low-Wage

 

 

 

 

 

Home Health Aides

926,500

1,134,232

207,732

22.42%

$11.17

Waiters and Waitresses

2,666,275

2,812,556

146,281

5.49%

$10.01

Retail Salespersons

4,574,115

4,682,344

108,229

2.37%

$11.29

Cooks, Restaurant

1,349,883

1,450,547

100,664

7.46%

$12.06

Nursing Assistants

1,522,723

1,619,107

96,384

6.33%

$13.23

Security Guards

1,210,962

1,272,926

61,964

5.12%

$12.97

Receptionists and Information Clerks

1,104,928

1,174,389

69,461

6.29%

$13.70

 

 

 

For the purposes of the study, low-wage occupations are defined as those with a median hourly pay of $14.17 or less; middle-wage occupations have a median hourly pay between $14.18-$23.59; and high-wage are occupations with median hourly pay of $23.24 or higher.

 

Having trouble finding qualified candidates in a competitive hiring landscape? Try tapping these 6 hidden talent pools.

 

Previous Article
5 Reasons Job Seekers Abandon the Hiring Process
5 Reasons Job Seekers Abandon the Hiring Process

Job seekers can be fickle and frustrating creatures. One minute, they’re all about your open position, the ...

Next Article
Recruiting Candidates with Mobile Technology
Recruiting Candidates with Mobile Technology

These days, you rely on your smartphone for nearly everything from getting directions, streaming music and ...