President Barack Obama made a strong case during Tuesday night's debate for how his administration would create "not just jobs," but "good-paying jobs." Obama said the jobs would be founded on the advanced manufacturing projects and education initiatives he would enact in a second term.
But Obama's record on high-paying jobs leaves much to be desired.
A recent study from the National Employment Law Project revealed that about 60 percent of the jobs created since the start of the Great Recession in 2008 were low-wage jobs. By comparison, most of the jobs lost during the same period were middle-wage jobs, the kind Obama was likely referring to when he spoke of "good-paying jobs."
Conventional wisdom says the low-wage jobs numbers won't necessarily hurt the president in Democratic strongholds like Pennsylvania and Michigan, where Republicans have yet to contest dominant Democratic candidates who have the support to make big ad buys.
But ever since Romney enjoyed a recent upswing following the Denver debate, polls in these working-class states have begun to swing towards the Republicans.
More than one in four Michigan workers has a low-wage job, according to data cited in the Detroit Free Press.
There are a host of other, underlying reasons why U.S. workers have seen a drop in middle-income jobs during the Great Recession. Employers in recent years have eliminated middle-skill level positions, as technology has made it easier for buyers and sellers to interact, as well as reducing the need for personalized customer service.