Posted by: Tom Ross | October 13, 2014

Middle Dearth

Click on the title above to view on the CTE Central Blog website.

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Where the Jobs Are

 A new report from USA Today (part 1 of a 4-parter) titled Where the Jobs Are: The New Blue Collar by MaryJo Webster estimates that 2.5 million new jobs will be added to workforce by 2017. But they aren’t at the top or the bottom. 40% of the job growth will be new, middle-skill positions, jobs that don’t require a 4-year degree. A two-year course at a local community college will do.

“Roughly 21 percent of all jobs can be considered ‘good middle jobs’—and of those, 29 million pay at least $35,000 a year”, write Anthony Carnevale and Nicole Smith of Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) in the magazine GOOD.  “Nearly 10 million pay more than $50,000, and a significant number actually pay more than entry-level jobs requiring a Bachelor’s Degree. These middle jobs are essential to how we address the “skills gap” and community colleges are ideally positioned to train people for those jobs.”



Five Ways That Pay on the Way to the B.A, also by Carnevale (et al., 2012), states that “In a labor market with roughly 139 million jobs and 61 million jobs that pay a least middle-class wages, one in every five jobs and nearly half of all jobs that pay at least middle-class wages are middle jobs.” I would need second breakfast to make sense of that.

In other words, the dearth in the middle may be workers, not jobs. And that’s encouraging for those preparing to enter the workforce but need a path that’s less protracted and expensive than a four-year college .

The USA Today article includes an interactive graphic that shows where the hottest middle-level jobs will be as well as salary and education needed. It also discusses:

  • The effect off-shoring jobs has had and will have on the market as well as “supply and demand”–comparing the number of skilled workers completing training programs with the number of job openings, with a focus on middle skill jobs. (See How Many More Skilled Workers Do We Need? by Brian Wilson of the National Skills Coalition);
  • How to solve the image problem of jobs in the middle by pointing out their advantages;
  • Vice President Biden’s effort to create training program across the country;
  • How some companies are finding solutions of their own.

This is a great interactive report. Many thanks to California Career Briefs for making us aware of it.


Sign Up for CA Career Briefs today.


  1. This just in:

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