There are many factors that go into identifying a “good” job versus a “poor quality” job. And it is important to note that jobs within the same industry can be either a “good” or “poor quality” job depending on how the company operates its human-resource and operational structure.
of workers are in mediocre or poor quality jobsSource: Gates Foundation, Gallup. Not Just a Job: New Evidence on the Quality of Work in the United States, Jonathan Rothwell, Steven Crabtree, October 2019
of the jobs created since 1990 have been quality jobsSource: the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index® Daniel Alpert, Jeffrey Ferry, Robert C. Hockett, Amir Khaleghi, November 2019
Wages are a key component to job quality. At its peak last year February 2020, 46.5 million Americans were working in occupations where the median wage was less than $15 per hour.
To put this into perspective, let’s assume a worker:
That would put annual earnings at $31,200 a year, before taxes, which is below the living wage in every single state in the union (according to Zippa and the MIT Living Wage Calculator).
There is a socio-economic aspect as well. Race has historically been correlated with job quality.
Ethnicity and gender are also factors which have demonstrated a dispersion in the level of job quality.
The reality is, poor job quality will not only have a dramatic impact on societies in which “poor quality” job industries are prevalent, but also on the future of the US economy by and large if these trends don’t correct themselves.
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