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Manhattan Institute

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MI Responds: December 2016 Jobs Report

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MI Responds: December 2016 Jobs Report

January 6, 2017
EconomicsEmployment

The gains of 156,000 jobs were dominated by increases in health care and social assistance (63,000 new jobs) and leisure and hospitality (24,000 new jobs). These are low-paying jobs that serve as entry-points to the labor force. A growing economy should be generating higher-paying positions in professional services and manufacturing.

The creation of low-skill jobs can also be seen in the change in the unemployment rates of different demographic groups. Teens, whose jobs are low-paying, saw a reduction of their unemployment rates of half a percentage point. Those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, who generally earn higher-than-average wages, saw an increase in their unemployment rate of two-tenths of a percentage point. The next administration needs to focus on creating job growth in high-paying industries as well as in low-wage ones.

"MI Responds" features real-time commentary from MI scholars on breaking news and developing issues. 

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Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow and director of Economics21. She also serves on the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump. Follow her on Twitter here.

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