Follow us

Contributed By:

Economy

Oregon Losing Middle Wage Jobs

OPB | Oct. 25, 2013 12:40 p.m. | Updated: Oct. 25, 2013 2:04 p.m.

(Credit: photologue_np — via Creative Commons)

(Credit: photologue_np — via Creative Commons)

A new report by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis shows that Oregon shed many middle wage jobs during the Great Recession. But during the recovery, the jobs that have come back are not in the same income bracket. Instead, both high wage and low wage jobs are on the uptick — a phenomenon known as job polarization.

Polarization is common during recessions, says Josh Lehner with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis — particularly in the era of globalization and automation. Companies often lay off middle wage workers to stay afloat — these are positions in manufacturing or mid-level office positions like administrative support, bookkeepers, receptionists, and sales staff. The business will then turn to off-shoring and computerization to make up for the lost work, so that by the time the economy turns around, those laid-off workers are no longer needed and have to turn to different industries.

The Great Recession in Oregon was no exception to this trend. While every wage class experienced losses in Oregon and across the country, the middle wage groups were hit much harder:

Wage groups are defined as followed: High Wage: More than $50,000; Upper Middle: $40,000-$50,000; Lower Middle: $25,000-$40,000; Low wage: less than $25,000

Wage groups are defined as followed: High Wage: More than $50,000; Upper Middle: $40,000-$50,000; Lower Middle: $25,000-$40,000; Low wage: less than $25,000

Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

During the recovery years, while jobs continue to be added, there has been little to no growth among the middle wage classes:

Wage groups are defined as followed: High Wage: More than $50,000; Upper Middle: $40,000-$50,000; Lower Middle: $25,000-$40,000; Low wage: less than $25,000

Wage groups are defined as followed: High Wage: More than $50,000; Upper Middle: $40,000-$50,000; Lower Middle: $25,000-$40,000; Low wage: less than $25,000

Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

We’ll hear more about job polarization in Oregon, and what can be done to prevent it.

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
Thanks to our Sponsors:
become a sponsor

Related

Also in Radio

Thanks to our Sponsors
become a sponsor

Funding Provided By

Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust

James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

Dawn and Al Vermeulen

Ray and Marilyn Johnson