- There is a significant imbalance between where private-sector job losses and subsequent job growth occurred in the 2008 recession. Higher-wage industries constituted about 40 percent of job losses, but only 14 percent of recent job growth. Lower-wage industries comprised 23 percent of job losses and nearly 50 percent of all recent job growth.
- The recovery following the 2001 recession looked much better than the current period of recovery. After a year of job growth, nearly half of the private-sector jobs lost in the 2001 recession had been recovered; after a comparable period of time, only 14 percent of the jobs lost in 2008 and 2009 had been recovered. The recovery from the 2001 recession also saw significantly more growth in higher-wage industries.
The results presented in this report are based entirely on the analysis of private-sector Oregon Unemployment Insurance (UI) wage records. In contrast, the NELP study drew on two sources of private-sector U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data: Current Employment Statistics survey data for seasonally adjusted monthly payroll employment, and Occupational Employment Statistics survey data for occupational wage and employment data by North American Industry Classification System industry. Due to job churn captured in quarterly UI wage records, the counts of jobs and recessionary trends presented here differ from more commonly evaluated employment series like CES. For more information on these data sources and this study, reference the full report on the Wages and Income page at www.QualityInfo.org.
Which industries have been recovering after the 2008 recession and what are the wages they pay? How do the job loss and growth patterns of the recession earlier this decade compare to the 2008 recession? To answer these questions, the first quarter 2007 median hourly wage (inflation adjusted to 2010, using the Consumer Price Index) and seasonally adjusted number of jobs by quarter (first quarter 2001 - fourth quarter 2010) were determined for each of 84 detailed industries. The industries were sorted by median wage and divided into three groups (lower-wage, mid-wage, and higher-wage) so that each group had roughly the same total number of jobs. The job losses and job growth for each of these groups were then calculated and tracked over time.
Graph 2 reveals that higher- and mid-wage industries accounted for nearly 60 percent of total job losses in the 2008 recession, but little more than 31 percent of job growth in the first five quarters of the recovery. Lower-wage industries constituted 41 percent of the job losses and 69 percent of the growth in jobs. From another perspective, job gains represented 25 percent, 9 percent, and 7 percent, respectively, of the recessionary job losses in lower-, mid-, and higher-wage industries.
The ratios of job losses to subsequent job growth are striking. Among higher-wage industries, 14 jobs were lost to the recession for every one gained back in the subsequent five quarters of recovery. The mid-wage industry ratio was 12 to one. At the lower-wage end of the spectrum, the ratio was four to one.
In comparison, job growth following the 2001 recession (Graph 3) was more in balance with job losses. Roughly half the number of jobs lost in higher- and lower-wage industries were gained in the first five quarters after the low point of the recession. Fully three-quarters of mid-wage jobs lost were recovered. Sixty-eight percent of all job losses and 73 percent of all job gains were in mid- and higher-wage industries.
Compared with the 2001 recession, recovery from the 2008 recession was much more tepid in both Oregon and the nation as a whole. During the first year after the end of the 2001 recession, about half the jobs lost nationwide were recovered; the same was true for Oregon. After one year of growth following the 2008 recession, the nation recovered only about 14 percent of the jobs that had been lost. Oregon recovered an even smaller percentage of the jobs it lost: 10 percent in the first year. After five quarters, 14 percent of the state's job losses had been recovered.