Date of Award
Program or Major
Master of Arts
Research regarding the growing gap between rich and poor has not wholly considered the dissolution of America's middle-skill jobs (occupations that require training/education beyond the high-school level, but less than a four-year degree). I draw on data from the CPS (1990 to 2009) to uncover the extent to which low, middle, and high-skill employment are distributed among white and nonwhite workers in rural, suburban and urban regions, and how this distribution has changed since 1990. Blacks and Hispanics remain overrepresented in low-skill employment and underrepresented in high-skill labor, although blacks made the most significant percentage gains in high-skill employment since 1990, particularly in the suburbs. Hispanics and rural Americans are most likely to report middle-skill employment, while suburbanites are least likely to report employment in these jobs. The Great Recession expedited middle-skill labor's decline. While both low and high-skill labor increased during this time, high-skill employment expanded far more rapidly.
Young, Justin R., "The color of labor: The changing racial and spatial distribution of middle-skill employment" (2011). Master's Theses and Capstones. 155.