30 Million Workers Without a Bachelor’s Degree Have Good Jobs Says New Georgetown University Research
The jobs are shifting from blue collar to skilled-services industries.
Although the decline in the manufacturing economy eliminated many good jobs for high school graduates, new research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (Georgetown Center) in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase & Co. finds that there are currently 30 million good jobs in the U.S. that pay without a Bachelor’s degree (B.A.). These good jobs have a median salary of $55,000.
Good Jobs That Pay without a B.A. shows that good jobs continue to grow, but they are changing from traditional blue-collar industries to skilled-services industries. A gain of 4 million good jobs in skilled-services industries, such as financial services and health services, have more than offset the 2.8 million good jobs lost in manufacturing.
"If the business community, policy makers and education and training providers are working towards placing workers in good jobs, we first need to know where they are," said Chauncy Lennon, Head of Workforce Initiatives, JPMorgan Chase. "We’re excited to partner with the Georgetown Center to explore this research because better data is critical to building a better workforce."
Although the economy has shifted, workers without a B.A. still comprise 64 percent of all workers. Many believe good jobs for workers without a B.A. no longer exist in this new environment. "Even though there have been big losses, manufacturing still provides the largest number of good jobs," said Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the Georgetown Center and lead author of the report.
While the good jobs of the manufacturing era only required a high school diploma or less, new good jobs tend to require at least some postsecondary education and training. The growth of good jobs has been greatest for workers with an Associate’s degree.
Americans with only high school graduates still have the largest share of good jobs (11.6 million), but that share continues to decline. Workers with some college have 9.3 million good jobs, those with Associate’s degrees have 7.6 million good jobs, and high school dropouts only have 1.7 million.
Other Key Findings:
- Whites still have the largest share of good jobs, but that share has declined. Latinos have a smaller share, but have seen the most growth. Blacks have the smallest share and have seen only slight growth.
- Men dominate good jobs that pay without a B.A., consistently grabbing 70 percent of these well paying jobs.
- Women have not been able to attain good jobs in any greater numbers, even with the shift in employment toward healthcare and other skilled-services industries.
- The largest economies—California, Texas, and Florida—have the largest number of good jobs for workers without a B.A., while Wyoming, New Jersey, and Maryland provide the largest share.
The Georgetown Center and JPMorgan Chase created this research project to investigate the impact overarching structural economic change has had and is having on workers who do not get a B.A. The centerpiece of the collaboration will include an interactive online database that documents the concentration of these good jobs, nationally, at the state level, by industry and occupation, and by wage. GoodJobsData.org, launching in the fall, will examine other characteristics that show the quality of these good jobs and the demographics of those who hold them.
Through several targeted philanthropic initiatives, JPMorgan Chase is investing over $350 million in data-driven solutions to skills development around the world. Investing in this workforce research initiative is part of the firm’s five-year, $250 million New Skills at Work initiative to help inform and accelerate efforts to address the mismatch between the needs of employers and the skills of job seekers. The firm has also committed $75 million to a separate five-year effort called New Skills for Youth to address the youth unemployment crisis by increasing the number of young people who complete career pathways that begin in high school and end with postsecondary degrees or credentials aligned with good-paying, high-demand jobs.
To view the report and a video of the findings, visit goodjobsdata.org.