NEW YORK – It’s certainly easier to find work these days than in the depths of the Great Recession. But, a good job is still hard to find.
Among the 10 jobs projected to grow the fastest in coming years, half pay less than $25,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And three-quarters pay less than the typical annual wage of $35,540.
Many of these hot jobs are in health care. As the country ages, more of us will need medical and personal assistance. So personal care aides, home health aides and nursing assistants, which all pay $12 an hour or less for a 40-hour workweek, are on the list, which looks at the occupations that will grow the most (in terms of numbers) between 2014 and 2024.
The only health care job that pays well and that’s adding lots of positions is registered nurse, which comes with a median wage of $66,640.
The prevalence of low-paying positions and lack of wage growth are big reasons why so many Americans feel so down about the economic recovery.
Earlier this decade, many of the jobs being created were at the low-end of the pay scale, while middle-income positions were much scarcer.
Middle class job openings are more plentiful these days as the economy grows stronger. Still, the average hourly pay of jobs added over the past six months remains below the average wage of all jobs, said Paul Ashworth, chief North American economist for Capital Economics. That’s because retail hiring has been strong recently, while there have been fewer better-paying mining and manufacturing positions around.
While 41% of Americans say there are plenty of jobs available in their community, only 33% say there are plenty of good jobs to be had, according to a Pew Research Center poll taken in December.
It’s not surprising that some of the swiftest-growing jobs are in fast food and retail because these sectors are among the largest employers in the country, experts said. And they don’t require college educations or specialized training. Only 34.6% of working age Americans have college degrees.
“The pool of people who can apply to these jobs is much larger,” said Dave Terkanian, a branch chief at Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Ashworth, however, sees a silver lining in the fact that health care jobs will be in such demand in the future.
“With more competition, [employers] may raise wages,” he said.
By Tami Luhby, CNN