NEW YORK May 21 Millions of U.S. teaching,
construction and other middle-skill jobs lost in the last
recession have not returned, exacerbating the already high
unemployment that has been a drag on the U.S. recovery, New York
Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday.
These middle-skill jobs, which pay roughly $25,000 to
$50,000 annually, suffered the heaviest losses in the past three
downturns when compared with high-skill and lower-skill
counterparts, they said at a press briefing on current labor
conditions in New York, northern New Jersey and Puerto Rico.
"A feature of the Great Recession and indeed the prior two
recessions, is that middle-skill jobs that were lost don't all
come back during the recoveries that follow," New York Fed
President William Dudley said in a speech.
From 2007 to 2010, U.S. employers slashed 9.3 percent of
middle-skill jobs as companies coped with falling sales and
local governments faced ballooning deficits, a New York Fed
study released on Wednesday showed based on federal jobs data.
Since the start of the recovery, middle-skill jobs have
increased 1.9 percent.
In comparison, higher-skill and higher-paying occupations in
law, finance and medicine have grown 7.8 percent on top of the
1.0 percent gain during the recession.
Lower-skill and lower-paying jobs in food and other services
industries recovered 6.0 percent in 2010 to 2013 following a 2.6
"The middle (skill jobs) tends to shrink away," said Jaison
Abel, a senior economist at the New York Fed who co-wrote the
regional jobs study with Richard Deitz. "Technology and
globalization are driving this trend."
At the end of 2013, middle-skill jobs made up 49 percent of
all U.S. jobs, down from 52 percent in 2007. This three-point
drop is equivalent to five million jobs at this level which have
disappeared, according to Abel.
On a regional basis, New York City has led the job recovery,
adding workers on top of recouping all the jobs lost during the
recession. Northern New Jersey and upstate New York have lagged
New York City while managing to recover many of the jobs lost.
However, Puerto Rico's labor market has continued to
struggle, the New York Fed study showed.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by James Dalgleish)