NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 26, 2004

Despite a recession and the absorption of millions of new workers, the U.S. job market is producing better quality jobs than ever before, says Brink Lindsey, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute.

From 1993 through 2002, there has been a net increase of 17.8 million jobs. To produce that healthy total, the dynamic U.S. economy created a total 327.7 million jobs, while some 309.9 million were lost.

Though the growth in total employment is frequently dismissed on the grounds that most of the new positions being created are low-paying dead-end jobs, Brink Lindsey of the Cato Institute says the facts show otherwise.

  • Managerial and specialized professional jobs have grown rapidly, nearly doubling between 1983 and 2002, from 23.6 million to 42.5 million.
  • As a percent of total employment, these challenging, high-paying positions have jumped from 23.4 percent to 31.1 percent over that same period.

Lindsey says these high-quality jobs will continue to grow in the years to come. According to the projections for 2002-12 prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management, business, financial, and professional positions will grow from 43.2 million to 52 million.

Source: Brink Lindsey, "10 Truths About Trade," Reason, July 2004.

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