Low-Wage Hires Dominate Today’s Jobs Report

    The U.S. economy added 242,000 nonfarm payrolls in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figure exceeded analyst expectations, giving a ray of hope that the labor market bounced back after a disappointing January. The private sector added 230,000 jobs.

    That ray of hope faded under a dark cloud once it became apparent that the industries hiring the most workers are those that pay the least.

    Dent Research’s quality analysis found the majority of jobs added last month were below the median wage. Far worse, though, was that over 44% of all hires fell into the very lowest of the 12 wage “buckets.”

    As in previous months, restaurants and bars led the way. This industry added over 40,000 workers, the most of any of the 84 major industries. These establishments pay the second lowest average hourly wage, above only gas stations.

    Dent Research President and Index creator Rodney Johnson commented on the disappointing February report saying, “These jobs don’t pay enough to kick-start consumer spending to the level our economy needs for a full-blown recovery. In other words, things are still weak.”

    Each month Dent Research produces a detailed chart depicting where the job additions fall along the wage scale. You can see the full results below. The low-wage dominance of February’s hires sticks out like a sore thumb:

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    The Dent Research Employment Index digs beneath the BLS’ headline numbers to measure the quality of jobs added each month. It provides a more complete picture of the job market by tracking where jobs are being created along the wage scale. For a more detailed explanation of our methodology, please click here to view our employment white paper.


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