Unemployment is at record lows, and it's clear America has plenty of jobs — but are they jobs that will ensure health and prosperity for all?
The headlines from the monthly U.S. jobs report have been overwhelmingly positive. Record numbers of jobs are being added to payrolls and the underemployment rate (the number of people involuntarily stuck in part-time jobs) is the lowest it has been in nearly two decades.
It's clear as a country we have lots of jobs — but are they good ones?
The Jobs Quality Index
To answer that question, a team of independent researchers from The Coalition for a Prosperous America Education Fund, The Jack G. Clarke Institute of Cornell University Law School, The University of Missouri Kansas City — Department of Economics, and The Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity have developed the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index. The index measures the quality and pay of U.S. jobs over time, helping measure not only how many people have jobs but if they are good jobs.
What does the latest Job Quality Index report show? That although there are lots of jobs available in the U.S., many of the new ones that have been added over the past year have not been quality jobs. The wages and the available hours are low, these jobs seldom offer benefits, and overall income levels and purchasing power have fallen.
We all want more than just a job
The proposed solutions to the low-quality jobs problem in the U.S. are complex and varied, with no one proposal being a sure shot. Structural reform is needed at scale to solve this problem for the majority of people affected by access to low-quality work. It remains to be seen what the well-paid union manufacturing and administrative assistant jobs of yesteryear will be replaced with in the 2020s and beyond.
The large number of low-quality jobs also suggests that many Americans are under-utilizing their skills in the jobs they do have, but may not love. And for most of us, we all want more than just a job — we want a purpose and to feel fulfillment from the labor to which we dedicate a majority of our time. The feeling of supporting a worthy cause at the end of the day is as critical to our sense of mental well-being as our paychecks.
A resume revamp can help you advance
Sometimes it's not you or your credentials preventing you from getting a foot in the door — it's simply that your resume doesn't properly showcase you at your best. Algorithms, not hiring managers, are often the first ones to evaluate your resume and determine whether or not you're qualified for a position. That means, if you don't have experience tailoring your professional documents for these types of systems, you may be disqualifying yourself from your next great job.
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