Maps of the Week: Uneven Growth of High Wage and Low Wage Jobs Since the Recession

Source: New York Times

Earlier today Richard Florida posted several maps at the Atlantic Cities that illustrate the distribution of added jobs by metro area since our nation’s recovery from the Great Recession began in earnest in 2009.  The maps, which show the percentage of high-wage (above $21.14 per hour), mid-wage (between $13.82 and $21.14 per hour) and low-wage (under $13.83 per hour) jobs added to America’s 52 largest metro areas, demonstrates that the economic recovery has largely occurred with the expansion of low-wage jobs throughout the country.  Only a select few metro areas added high-wage jobs, making the income inequality that’s become more evident at local levels even more apparent at the national scale.

From Florida himself:

It’s no secret that the recovery has been incredibly uneven. Some of its biggest benefits are accruing to the one percent, while the majority of Americans have seen their economic prospects stagnate or diminish. Income inequality has surged to levels not seen since before the Great Depression.   When it comes to jobs, the recovery has been terribly uneven as well. Commentators across the political spectrum agree that jobs are a key, if not the key, indicator of the strength of America’s economic recovery. Overall, the U.S. economy added some 4.5 million jobs over the course of the recovery from 2009 to 2013. But even with an uptick in manufacturing jobs, the labor market continues to cleave into high-wage knowledge and low-wage service jobs.

This map shows the distribution of high-wage jobs in metros:

This one, the diestribution of mid-wage jobs:

And this one, low-wage job growth:

I won’t hijack Mr. Florida’s work or his analysis; there is much more to be found at the link above.  But it does appear that the Sun Belt metros have been the beneficiaries of a low-wage job recovery that might make many of their gains seem illusory.  Meanwhile, Rust Belt metros have done a relatively decent job of adding mid-wage jobs as they’ve come out of the manufacturing contraction.

It’s worth taking a look to develop your own conclusions.

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