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. 


Poor quality jobs, lots of poor quality jobs


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

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 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).


Race, ethnicity and gender are strongly correlated with job quality

Source: Gallup, 2021

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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