Blue collar jobs report: Shifting sectors, falling earnings
Posted May 17, 2017 in Press Releases
During the 2016 election, President Donald Trump promised to bring back blue-collar jobs. A new quarterly report from Policy Matters Ohio will monitor his progress.
Blue collar industries historically produced relatively high-paying jobs mostly filled by white men without college degrees. States that voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Trump in the 2016 have some of the highest shares of blue collar jobs in the nation, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
“Ohio state is stuck. It never recovered the jobs lost to the 2001 recession. Manufacturing took an especially big hit and growing sectors, like education and health services work, often pay poorly and offer few benefits,” said Hannah Halbert, report author and researcher with Policy Matters Ohio. “This series will look at trends in blue collar jobs and other important sectors of our state economy to hold policymakers accountable not just on growth, but also on improving life for all working Ohioans.”
Blue collar jobs, short-hand for jobs in manufacturing, mining and logging, and construction, have not yet recovered from the last recession. This has consequences. Last year, seven out of the 10 most common jobs in the state were in occupations where a typical worker could work full-time, year-round and still need food assistance to feed their family. This has not always been true in Ohio. In 2000, just four of the 10 most common jobs would have left a working family in this position.
“Workers in manufacturing, construction, mining and logging have literally shaped the landscape of America,” Halbert said. “Ohio should make investments to support workers in these jobs, but we also need to ensure all jobs pay livable wages and benefits. We will not move forward as a state if we don’t tackle both.”