Middle-Skill Jobs. The Council of State Governments Midwestern Legislative Conference. Mark D Amato W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

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1 Middle-Skill Jobs The Council of State Governments Midwestern Legislative Conference Bismarck, North Dakota July 12, 2015 Mark D Amato W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

2 Outline Defining middle-skill jobs and why they are important Discussion of BLS occupational data and how we derived our estimate of middle-skill jobs Policy implications Conclusion 1

3 Defining Middle-Skill Jobs Jobs at the middle of the skill range, between low skill and high skill Use educational attainment as a gauge for skills Jobs requiring educational attainment between a high school diploma and a college degree Wages increase with skill, so middle-skill jobs are important for supporting the middle class On average middle-skill jobs pay 77 percent better than low skill jobs 2

4 Average Wage by Skill Level United States Mean Hourly Wages Hourly Wage ($) $12.89 Low skill $20.10 Moderate OJT $22.56 Long-term OJT $24.46 $25.51 Apprentice Experience $21.28 Some college / assoc. $44.63 High skill Source: BLS OES

5 Defining Middle-Skill Jobs No consensus on how to measure middle-skill jobs some focus on education, others on wages Conclusions can vary greatly depending upon which measure is used the shrinking middle (Autor) vs. the majority middle (Holzer) We focus on BLS occupational data and augment educational attainment as a proxy for skills with training and work experience 4

6 BLS Skill Categories Education BLS categorizes 8 levels of educational attainment that are typical for entry into an occupation 1) Less than high school 2) High school diploma 3) Associate s degree 4) Some college; no degree 5) Post-secondary nondegree (certification) 6) Bachelor s degree 7) Master s degree 8) Doctoral or professional degree 5

7 BLS Categories Training BLS categorizes 6 levels of on-the-job training 1) Internship/residency 2) Apprenticeship 3) Long-term (more than 1 yr.) 4) Moderate-term (more than 1 month, up to 1 yr.) 5) Short-term (1 month or less); and 6) None 6

8 BLS Categories Work Experience BLS categorizes 3 levels of work experience (in a related occupation) needed for entry into an occupation 1) 5 years or more 2) Less than 5 years; and 3) None 7

9 Adding It All Up We started with occupations that require an associate s degree, some college, or postsecondary non-degree award Then added occupations that require a high school diploma and on-the-job training (excluding short-term), or work experience in a related occupation 8

10 Computation of Middle-Skill Jobs Less than high school High school Cert./ Some college/ Assoc. Bachelor s or higher None Short-term OJT Moderate OJT Long-term OJT Apprentice Experience Experience No Experience No Experience 9

11 Composition of Occupational Skills Less than HS High school Certificate /some col. Assoc. Bach. Master Doctorate None Short OJT Mod. OJT Long OJT Apprentice Intern No experience Experience =Low skill =Mid skill =High skill Source: BLS OES

12 BLS Education Category Middle skill 10.9% Classification of Skill Levels in the United States High skill 30.5% Low skill 58.7% Source: BLS OES

13 BLS Complete Categories Classification of Skill Levels in the United States Low skill 39.5% High skill 30.5% Source: BLS OES Middle skill 32.0% Some college / cert. / assoc. 10.9% Moderate OJT 10.3% Apprenticeship 0.8% Long-term OJT 2.9% Experience 5.2% 12

14 Regional Comparison Pct. of employed Low skill Moderate OJT Long-term OJT Apprentice Experience Some college / assoc. High skill United States Midwest* North Dakota Source: BLS OES *CSG 11-state Midwest region 13

15 Top 10 Middle-Skill Occupations U.S. Occupation Employment Requirement Registered nurses 2,687,310 Associate Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers 1,625,290 Certificate Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks 1,575,060 Moderate OJT Nursing assistants 1,427,740 Certificate First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products 1,404,070 Experience 1,394,640 Moderate OJT Maintenance and repair workers, general 1,282,920 Long-term OJT First-line supervisors of retail sales workers 1,199,770 Experience Teacher assistants 1,192,590 Some college Team assemblers 1,125,160 Moderate OJT Source: BLS OES

16 Top 10 Middle-Skill Occupations Midwest* Occupation Employment Requirement Registered nurses 599,280 Associate Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers 419,630 Certificate Team assemblers 407,240 Moderate OJT Nursing assistants 346,500 Certificate Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks 322,970 Moderate OJT Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products 316,290 Moderate OJT Maintenance and repair workers, general 260,780 Long-term OJT Teacher assistants 258,100 Some college First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers 233,160 Experience First-line supervisors of retail sales workers 224,660 Experience Source: BLS OES *CSG 11-state Midwest region 15

17 Top 10 Middle-Skill Occupations North Dakota Occupation Employment Requirement Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers 16,630 Certificate Registered nurses 7,680 Associate Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks 7,480 Moderate OJT Nursing assistants 6,720 Certificate First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers 4,950 Experience Teacher assistants 4,690 Some college Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators 4,420 Moderate OJT First-line supervisors of retail sales workers 4,170 Experience Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products 4,160 Moderate OJT Electricians 4,160 Apprenticeship Source: BLS OES

18 Top 10 Middle-Skill Industries U.S. Industry Middle-skill employment Total employment Pct. middle Hospitals 3,484,100 5,220, Ambulatory health care services 3,140,940 6,024, Government 2,943,090 6,614, Educational services 2,102,320 10,800, Professional, scientific, and technical services 1,885,520 6,883, Administrative and support services 1,757,200 7,241, Nursing and residential care facilities 1,542,720 3,181, Specialty trade contractors 1,463,990 3,014, Merchant wholesalers, durable goods 1,187,730 2,568, Truck transportation 1,008,270 1,342, Source: BLS OES

19 Industry Top 10 Middle-Skill Industries Midwest* Middle-skill employment Total employment Pct. middle Hospitals 760,779 1,111, Ambulatory health care services 650,728 1,251, Government 578,843 1,283, Educational services 434,588 2,183, Administrative and support services 401,366 1,524, Professional, scientific, and technical services 371,753 1,305, Nursing and residential care facilities 349, , Fabricated metal product manufacturing 301, , Specialty trade contractors 297, , Merchant wholesalers, durable goods 278, , Source: BLS OES *CSG 11-state Midwest region 18

20 Industry Top 10 Middle-Skill Industries North Dakota Middle-skill employment Total employment Pct. middle Government 11,748 21, Hospitals 10,539 15, Truck transportation 9,622 10, Specialty trade contractors 9,406 16, Ambulatory health care services 8,593 16, Educational services 7,330 30, Nursing and residential care facilities 6,485 11, Merchant wholesalers, durable goods 5,607 9, Administrative and support services 5,414 20, Professional, scientific, and technical services 5,341 15, Source: BLS OES

21 Industry Occupation Mix U.S. Industry Occupation Requirement Hospitals Ambulatory health care services Government Educational services Professional, scientific, technical Registered nurses Nursing assistants Medical assistants Medical secretaries Correctional officers and jailers Maintenance workers Teacher assistants Executive assistants Paralegals Bookkeepers Assoc. Cert. Cert. Mod OJT Mod OJT Mod OJT Some college Mod OJT Assoc. Mod OJT Source: BLS OES

22 Industry Occupation Mix Midwest* Industry Occupation Requirement Hospitals Ambulatory health care services Government Educational services Administrative and support services Registered nurses Nursing assistants Registered nurses Medical assistants Correctional officers Maintenance and repair Teacher assistants Executive assistants Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks Paralegals Assoc. Cert. Assoc. Cert. Mod OJT Long-term OJT Some college Mod OJT Mod OJT Assoc. Source: BLS OES *CSG 11-state Midwest region 21

23 Industry Occupation Mix North Dakota Industry Occupation Requirement Government Hospitals Truck transportation Specialty trade contractors Ambulatory health Source: BLS OES Highway maintenance workers Correctional officers Registered nurses Nursing assistants Heavy truck drivers Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists Electricians Supervisors of construction trades and extraction Registered nurses Medical assistants Mod OJT Mod OJT Assoc. Cert. Cert. Long-term OJT Apprentice Experience Assoc. Cert. 22

24 Policy Implications Workforce Development Entrance to middle-skill occupations can be achieved through education, training, or relevant work experience Education: target skill-specific curriculum and programs at community colleges. Medical assistant, dental hygienist, and skilled-trade (carpentry, electrical, welding, plumbing) programs are current examples. 23

25 Policy Implications Workforce Development Training: government and company-funded programs to match skill sets to industry requirements. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act provides federal funding for state and local workforce training programs. Related Work Experience: develop programs that match industry demand to occupational skills 24

26 Policy Implications Economic Development Attract and retain industries that create and develop middle-skill jobs Use incentives to target select industries and sectors of economy There can be agglomeration effects: sectors build on each other synergistically. The auto industry is an example, with its vast supply chain. 25

27 Conclusion Middle-skill jobs are an important part of the economy Government policy can help by assisting in the attraction and retention of companies that create these jobs, as well as assisting in the funding and management of programs that develop the skills required for these jobs 26

28 Middle-Skill Jobs The Council of State Governments Midwestern Legislative Conference Bismarck, North Dakota July 12, 2015 Mark D Amato W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

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