America's Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs

Research Report

America's Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs

Education and Training Requirements in the Next Decade and Beyond


This paper, written for the Workforce Alliance in Washington, D.C., analyzes data on recent employment and wage trends, as well as projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to analyze the likely future demand for workers in "middle-skill" jobs - i.e., those requiring more than secondary school but less than a bachelor's degree. Contrary to recent assertions that demand for middle-skill jobs will shrink dramatically (creating an "hourglass" or "dumbbell" labor market), we find that demand for such jobs will remain quite robust. The growth in supply of workers with these skills will also likely shrink as baby boomers retire and are replaced by immigrants. Thus, education and training programs that help less-educated workers gain these skills remain a worthwhile investment.

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