11/07/2013 03:01 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The One Problem That Big Job Numbers Won't Solve

The U.S. economy created 204,000 jobs last month, and in many ways that's a good thing. But according to new projections, the unfortunate truth is that expected jobs creation over the next few years will only tear our society further apart.

Nearly 80 percent of the jobs created between now and 2017 will pay either a lot or a little, rather than somewhere in the middle, according to new estimates by CareerBuilder, an online employment website. Comparatively, only a little more than 20 percent of job creation is expected to fall in the middle-wage range:

middle class jobs

To add to the problem, a lot of middle-wage jobs that already do exist are on the chopping block. According to the report, 75 percent of all occupations expected to lose jobs fall within that middle-wage designation (of $13.84-$21.13 per hour) as well.

The report really only adds to what we know: The United States of America is a country being ripped in half, with a widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. A separate report published in October found that more and more, the poor live among the poor, and the rich live among the rich (if you think it’s always been this way, you are wrong):

segregation total

It’s the same story with income gains. In 2011, for example, only the richest fifth of Americans saw their incomes jump, while the bottom four-fifths took a hit.

As always there’s a geographic element here, and certain cities (see: Detroit, Cleveland) are projected to watch their middle-wage jobs vanish at particularly alarming rates. Here’s what middle class deterioration looks like, in chart form:

job creation geography

Detroit also has the unfortunate designation of being the lone metropolitan area expected to lose jobs over the next few years. Cleveland will barely be in the black with 0.3 percent growth, the report projects.



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