American workers who lost jobs during the Great Recession are slowly returning to the workforce, but in doing so, they are often coming back to jobs that pay them less than the ones they lost, according to a study released last week. More than half of the people who became unemployed during the recession found a new job within six weeks, but a majority of them found jobs that paid less than the one they lost, the study from Rutgers University found:
Those who were laid off during the recession and fortunate enough to find new employment are generally settling for less in their new positions. As shown in Figure 2, nearly half (48%) say their current job is a step down from the one they held before the recession hit. A majority (54%) report lower pay in their new job compared to the job they held before being laid off.
One reason workers are returning to jobs that pay less than the ones they lost is likely because of the influx of low-wage jobs since the recession. A National Employment Law Project survey found that 58 percent of the jobs created since the end of the recession have been in low-wage sectors, even though such jobs made up just 21 percent of recession losses. Mid-wage sectors accounted for 60 percent of jobs lost during the recession, but have so far made up only 22 percent of those created during the recovery.