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Labor Department Report Reveals Middle-Skill Occupations Comprise Majority of Jobs in State

For immediate release
November 18, 2009
 

WETHERSFIELD, A new study from the Connecticut Department of Labor shows that “middle-skill occupations” in the state – often thought to be on the verge of extinction – comprise the majority of jobs in Connecticut and provide the foundation for a robust middle class. 

The report, prepared by the agency’s Office of Research, reveals that 41 percent of the jobs in this state require middle-skills, compared to 34 percent needing low skills and 25 percent needing high skills. 

“Many people mistakenly believe that Connecticut’s economy is made up by what economists call “a divided” labor market that contains few workers with middle skills,” noted Mark Stankiewicz, Operations Coordinator in the Office of Research and one of the authors of the report. “This divided labor market would be comprised of a small number of high-skilled, high-paid workers, along with a much larger number of low-skilled, low-paid workers.  

“In reality, our study shows that Connecticut is actually home to more than 400 middle-skill occupations, with the majority commanding a middle-class income,“ Stankiewicz said. “In those industries with strong concentrations of middle-skill jobs, most notably construction, transportation and utilities, education and health services, for example, wages continue to increase.” 

The data contained in the Connecticut’s Middle-Skill Jobs report clearly demonstrates that

middle-skill jobs are already well represented in the state’s economy, Stankiewicz points out, and will continue to grow. In fact, it is projected that nearly four out of every 10 new and replacement openings will require middle-skills. 

“Because the educational requirement for middle-skill jobs is less than a bachelor degree, and therefore may include on-the-job training or a transfer of skills from a prior occupation, these jobs provide promising opportunities for workers looking to transition to a new career path, yet with minimal work life interruption,” Stankiewicz said. 

Copies of the Connecticut’s Middle-Skill Jobs report can be found under Occasional Papers & Reports on the Department of Labor’s Office of Research Web site at www.ctdol.state.ct.us/lmi while questions regarding the report can be directed to Stankiewicz at  (860) 263-6256 or dol.lmi@ct.gov.

Media contact: Nancy Steffens (860) 263-6535


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