Higher Paying Jobs

I had a conversation with a good neighbor and friend tonight, and one of the topics was job growth. Here in Houston, the job market has been terrible, and it’s apparent some jobs in some industries are not coming back. But I think this is looking at the economy through a pinhole – the US economy is picking up steam, adding jobs, and high paying jobs at that.

Some of these topics I’ve already covered. For instance, there have actually been jobs gained under the Bush adminstration, not lost. And that the economy is growing faster than it has in years.

Are these low paying jobs, as John Kerry’s claiming? The numbers don’t support that conclusion:

A new set of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics actually shows solid growth in employment in relatively higher -paying occupations including construction workers, health-care professionals, business managers, and teachers, and virtually no growth at all in relatively lower-paying occupations including office clerks and assembly-line workers. It’s the most detailed breakdown yet — looking at 154 different job and industry groupings. These statistics are a FactCheck.org exclusive — supplied to us by BLS at our request and not previously published.

Another statistic often overlooked by Bush critics is that average earnings of rank-and-file private-sector workers have increased since Bush took office, though modestly. Even after adjusting for inflation — including the rising price of gasoline –those earnings are up just over 1% since January 2001, despite the recession and the initially slow recovery.

And InformationWeek says that the amount of jobs shipped overseas is greatly exaggerated – not only are more jobs staying here, but it’s the highest paying jobs that are here:

Not surprisingly, pay has increased for the most in-demand positions. Schafer cited some examples–average base salary for a programmer analyst moved from $131,000 last year to $172,500 this year while a business-application delivery manager saw his salary increase from $91,000 to $116,500.

The most sought-after IT specialists remain in senior levels, where pay premiums remain the highest. Senior-level staff in highly technical positions remained the highest paid. Conversely, Schafer found entry-level hiring remained stubbornly static.

As for outsourcing, Schafer found that it, too, has generally been suffering with the slowly recovering economy. Asking survey respondents for the first time for information on offshore outsourcing, the Meta survey revealed that only 20% are currently sending work offshore.

And Bush’s economy for his first 3 years is remarkably better than Clinton’s first 3 years, or have we forgotton?

Economic Growth Comparisons between Clinton and Bush 1st 3 years

That’s not to imply some industries haven’t been hit hard – telecommunications, for instance – but the overall economy is in fine shape and poised for even better growth. Kerry’s going to have to find something else besides the economy to harp about.