ERIC Number: ED311246
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Better Jobs or Working Longer for Less: An Evaluation of the Research of Marvin Kosters and Murray Ross on the Quality of Jobs. [with] There They Go Again: Comments on "The Quality of Jobs: Evidence from Distributions of Annual Earnings and Hourly Wages" by Kosters and Ross (July 1988). Working Paper No. 101.
Although nearly 14 million jobs have been added to the economy since 1979, there is strong evidence that job expansion has been purchased at the price of lower wages. A number of studies have confirmed this downside to job creation, the most prominent being a 1986 study by Bluestone and Harrison for the Joint Economic Committee. A recent study conducted by American Enterprise Institute economists Kosters and Ross for the United States Department of Labor, however, arrived at conclusions that are radically different: they found neither a disproportionate nor a growing share of new jobs in the low-earnings category, but a rise in the share of jobs with high earnings. A reexamination of the Kosters and Ross study concludes that their claims about job quality trends are not supported by their research or by extending their analysis through another year of recovery. Instead, their own data support the general conclusion of the Bluestone and Harrison thesis. Some of the reasons for the disparity include the following: (1) Kosters and Ross focus on the annual wages of all workers, full and part time, and consequently they cannot distinguish between wage growth from people working at higher-paying jobs and that of people working longer hours at lower-paying jobs; (2) their research shows an expansion of low-wage jobs for men--all of the upscaling they find is due to improvements in the annual wages of women; and (3) their estimates shows that midlevel wage jobs shrank, whereas low-wage jobs expanded. (This report contains Mishel's critique of the 1987 report by Kosters and Ross and a critique of the new Kosters and Ross report that was released at the July 1988 Economic Policy Institute seminar.) (KC)
Descriptors: Adults, Employment Patterns, Employment Projections, Evaluation Criteria, Evaluation Methods, Job Development, Labor Market, Research Methodology, Research Problems, Wages, Working Hours
Economic Policy Institute, 1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Suite 812, Washington, DC 20036 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Inst., Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at a National Press Club debate (Washington, DC, July 14, 1988).