Millions of jobs were lost during the Great Recession, impacting workers across industries
and setting into motion a long and inconsistent period of economic recovery. In today’s
post-recession economy, millions of jobs have been added back—but they are not the
same jobs that were lost. Economic changes and advancements in technology have led to
a shift in demand for more educated workers.
THE JOB LANDSCAPE POST-GREAT RECESSION
For workers with at least some college education, the job market is thriving and high-skill jobs are
available across industries. However, those with a high school diploma or less have recovered only
1 percent of the 5.6 million jobs lost in the recession, and they have yet to see the impact of an
Jobs Lost in the Recession
Total jobs lost in the recession
Jobs lost for workers with a high school diploma or less
11.6 million Total jobs added since January 2010
11.5 million Jobs added for workers with some post-secondary education
80,000 Jobs for workers with a high school diploma or less
8.4 million Jobs added for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher
3.1 million Jobs added for workers with some college or an associate degree
JOB GROWTH BY INDUSTRY
Based on trend data, nearly all industries are shifting toward a more educated workforce.
In addition, industries that require more education are hiring more.
Healthcare, Business and Financial Services, Education and Government Jobs
Manufacturing, Construction and Natural Resources Jobs
Jobs in many skilled-services industries,
such as consulting and business services,
have grown substantially during the
economic recovery. Meanwhile, the
construction and manufacturing
industries have recovered the least from
jobs lost during the recession.
WHERE ARE THE GOOD JOBS GOING?
Economic changes have offset the losses of
good jobs in blue-collar industries with new
good jobs in skilled-services industries. "Good
jobs" are defined as jobs that pay an average of
at least $55,000 per year. According to the
Georgetown University Center on Education
and the Workforce, the education needed for
workers to attain good jobs is also changing.
Workers with associate degrees have gained
the most good jobs across industries, from
healthcare to financial and business services to
Workers with bachelor’s degrees have gained far more jobs during the economic recovery than those with less education. However, among the new jobs available, more jobs are going to
workers with some college education and associate degrees rather than workers with high school diplomas.