The Importance of Accounting for Job Quality: Charting U.S. Economic Performance with Alternative Labor Market Indicators

Source: David Howell and Mamadou Diallo, Challenge, Vol. 51 no. 1, January-February, 2008
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These authors argue that traditional measures of employment and unemployment are not adequate. In the traditional data, a low-paying job counts as much as a high-paying one. The authors create new indicators to determine how well Americans are doing. They show that a strikingly low percentage of American workers have what the authors define as adequate jobs, although the rate has improved since 1979. Serious job-quality deterioration has occurred, however, for those, especially men, who have at least a high school diploma but no more than two years of college.

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