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Great Recession recovery means a spike in low-wage jobs

Published: Friday, Aug. 31 2012 1:51 p.m. MDT

September 2011, waitress Jamie Romero plates food to a table at the Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grille in Portland, Ore. Occupations such as waitress and food preparation workers are some of the fastest growing since the Great Recession. (Rick Bowmer, Associated Press) September 2011, waitress Jamie Romero plates food to a table at the Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grille in Portland, Ore. Occupations such as waitress and food preparation workers are some of the fastest growing since the Great Recession. (Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — Low-wage jobs have grown 2.7 times faster than any other occupations since recovering from the Great Recession, according to a study conducted by National Employment Law Project.

At the start of the recession, mid-wage occupations received the biggest hit, at 60 percent loss of jobs. Currently they have only made a 22 percent recovery, according to National Employment Law Project.

"The good jobs deficit is now deeper than it was at the start of the 21st century," said the report. "Industry dynamics are playing an important role in shaping the unbalanced recovery."

Higher-paying jobs have had a steady growth. As for low-wage jobs, food services, employment services and retail offered 1.7 million more jobs in two years, according to the study.

"Policymakers have understandably been focused on the urgent goal of getting U.S. employment back to where it was before the recession, but our findings underscore that job quality is rapidly emerging as a second front in the struggling recovery," said the report.

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