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Quality Jobs

The multi-faceted value creation initiative

The cost of “poor quality” jobs

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. 

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Poor quality jobs, lots of poor quality jobs

60%

of workers are in mediocre or poor quality jobs

Source: Gates Foundation, Gallup. Not Just a Job: New Evidence on the Quality of Work in the United States, Jonathan Rothwell, Steven Crabtree, October 2019
37%

of the jobs created since 1990 have been quality jobs

Source: the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index® Daniel Alpert, Jeffrey Ferry, Robert C. Hockett, Amir Khaleghi, November 2019

Wages

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:

  •  makes $15/hour
  •  works a full-time schedule of 40 hours a week
  •  for 52 weeks a year (no holiday, sick-day or vacation time)

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).

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Race, ethnicity and gender are strongly correlated with job quality

Source: Gallup, 2021
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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.

Source: Gallup. The Characteristics of Good Jobs for Low-Income Workers, 2020

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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