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Slow Growth in Georgia Middle Class Jobs

August 5, 2014  |  Georgia Budget & Policy Institute
The information provided here is for informational and educational purposes and does not necessarily reflect the opinion and/or policy position of the Georgia Municipal Association.

Georgia’s mid-wage industries comprised 52% of private sector job losses during the Great Recession but only 15% of job gains during the economic recovery.

An analysis by the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI) shows that mid-wage jobs experienced the greatest loss during the Great Recession but lag far behind in the economic recovery:
  • The recession hit workers in mid-wage industries hardest and they are faring the worst in the recovery.
    Georgia’s mid-wage industries accounted for 52 percent of private sector job losses during the recession, but only 15 percent of gains during the recovery. Georgia’s private sector held about 138,100 fewer jobs in mid-wage industries in 2013 than in 2007 before the recession began. 
  • Low- and high-wage industries account for most of Georgia’s job growth in the recovery.
    Low- and high-wage industries in Georgia have recovered the jobs they lost during the recession, unlike mid-wage industries. Low- and high-wage industries account for a combined 85 percent of Georgia’s net job growth from 2010 to 2013, split about evenly between the two. 
  • State and local government budget cuts caused additional job losses in the public sector.
    Government professions, such as teachers and police officers, are a historical source of middle-class jobs with decent wages. But Georgia’s state and local governments employed 35,700 fewer workers in 2013 than they did in 2007. About 54 percent, or 19,400, of these lost jobs are due to layoffs among education workers employed by local governments.  
More information can be found in the GBPI policy report, Bad Times for Good Jobs: Georgia’s Shrinking Middle Class Opportunity.