The Great “Hollowing Out” of the U.S. Job Market

Fixed Income

June 2019

Nathan Sheets, PhD, Chief Economist, Head of Global Macroeconomic Research, and George Jiranek, Associate, Global Macroeconomic Research

In assessing the strength of the U.S. labor market since the global financial crisis, it is important to consider the quality of the jobs that have been created. This research finds that the jobs created through the current expansion have a distinct “barbell” feature consisting of a remarkable “hollowing out” of jobs in the middle of the income distribution. These findings highlight some of the deep drivers of rising income inequality in the United States. Given that the forces in play seem likely to be persistent, policymakers, market participants, and individual workers are well-advised to embrace these trends and tailor strategies to harness the opportunities that they will generate.




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