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Press Release: Middle-Class Workers Lose Ground in March



The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 215,000 nonfarm payrolls in March, beating market expectations. The private sector hired 195,000 workers.

While the economy continues to add jobs at a steady clip, analysis by Dent Research uncovers more evidence of middle-earning workers getting pushed out of the labor market. The so-called “U-shaped” recovery in jobs was evident in March.

Our quality analysis finds that only 11% of jobs went to the industries that pay a middle-class wage. A majority of hires (52%) went to the lowest-paying third of workplaces. Unsurprisingly, a small majority (51%) of workers added fell below the measured median wage.

Of 84 major industries, ambulatory health care services saw the biggest gain of the month, with over 27,000 additions. This broad sector pays its workers well, with an average hourly wage of nearly $31.

But those additions were nearly offset by bars and restaurants (+24,800), which pay an average of just $13.17 per hour. Bars and restaurants fall into the lowest pay of our 12 wage buckets. Over 25% of all new jobs fell into this group.

Each month Dent Research produces a detailed chart depicting where the job additions fall along the wage scale. This month we’ve added a bonus chart to illustrate the “U-shaped” pattern in March. You can see the full results below:

See larger image

See larger image

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.


About Dent Research

Dent Research is an economic forecasting and investment research firm and publisher that works diligently to provide you with the proprietary economic knowledge you need to accurately forecast what lies ahead in our economy so you can take the necessary and appropriate action to ensure prosperity in your business, investment and financial affairs.

The core of our work is what we call the Dent Method, which our founder and economic expert, Harry S. Dent Jr., developed in the late 1980s. It has the only documented record of success at forecasting long-term economic trends based on the study of and changes in demographic trends and their impact on our economy and the markets. It works by showing how predictable consumer-spending patterns, when combined with demographic trends, allow us to forecast the economy years or even decades in advance.

For more than two decades, readers and experts have trusted our independent economic think tank and research team to provide specialized and proprietary economic and investment research, analysis tools, and forecast information.

With Dent Research, investors and businessmen alike can learn how to recognize and potentially profit from economic and demographic cycles. They can also use our research to pinpoint the best growth industries, the best places to live, the hottest investment sectors, and the key technologies that will change everyday lives.