Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/210698
Authors: 
Gabe, Todd M.
Abel, Jaison R.
Florida, Richard L.
Year of Publication: 
2018
Series/Report no.: 
Staff Report 846
Abstract: 
There is growing concern over rising economic inequality, the decline of the middle class, and a polarization of the U.S. workforce. This study examines the extent to which low-wage workers in the United States transition to better jobs, and explores the factors associated with such a move up the job ladder. Using data covering the expansion following the Great Recession (2011-17) and focusing on short-term labor market transitions, we find that around 70 percent of low-wage workers stayed in the same job, 11 percent exited the labor force, 7 percent became unemployed, and 6 percent switched to a different low-wage job. Troublingly, just slightly more than 5 percent of low-wage workers found a better job within a 12-month period. Study results point to the importance of educational attainment in helping low-wage workers move up the job ladder.
Subjects: 
low-wage jobs
career ladder
labor market dynamics
JEL: 
J01
J24
J61
J62
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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