October 25, 2010

The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market: Implications for Employment and Earnings – Summary of article by David Autor

The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market: Implications for Employment and Earnings

David Autor, MIT Department of Economics and National Bureau of Economic Research

The Hamilton Project

Introduction:

“Between December 2007, when the U.S. housing and financial crises became the subject of daily news headlines, and March of 2010, the latest period for which data are available, the number of employed workers in the United States fell by 8.2 million, to 129.8 million from 138.0 million. In the same interval, the civilian unemployment rate nearly doubled, to 9.7 percent from 5.0 percent, while the employment-to-population ratio dropped to 58.6 percent from 62.7 percent—the lowest level seen in more than 25 years. Job losses of this magnitude cause enormous harm to workers, families, and communities. (more…)

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