U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index (JQI)® May 2021

June 4, 2021 12:34 PM EDT

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U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index Revised to 81.49 from Previous Month - Reflecting a Higher Proportion of U.S. Production and Non-Supervisory Jobs

New York, NY, June 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Following the release of the Employment Situation Report for May 2021 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index (JQI)® has been revised to a level of 81.49, down by -0.42% from its revised level one month earlier and reflecting a higher proportion - relative to the prior month - of U.S. production and non-supervisory (P&NS) jobs paying less than the mean weekly income of all P&NS jobs (“Low Quality Jobs”), relative to those jobs paying above such mean. The JQI remains heavily impacted by the extraordinary disruption in the number and composition of private sector production and non-supervisory jobs since the beginning of the U.S. impact of the COVID19 global pandemic, with regard to which the following additional special factors should be noted: 

  • (i) the BLS Employment Situation Report for April reflects a net 492,000 increase in private sector payrolls, with a downward revision to the prior month. 
  • (ii) Jobs in Low Quality sectors that laid off workers during the peak crisis months, and again in November 2020 through January 2021, have been slowly returning. But Low-Quality Job sectors, which contain the bulk of the net jobs lost during the pandemic through May 2021, are only slowly rebuilding headcount. Accordingly, the JQI remains well above its pre-pandemic level. 
  • (iii) the JQI may rise or fall for a period of time to the extent that such large numbers of Low-Quality Jobs have been substantially eliminated or restored, as offset by the significantly higher benchmark mean weekly income, when compared to pre-pandemic levels, used in computing the index since the elimination of large numbers of Low-Quality Jobs during the pandemic. 

The mean weekly wage income of all P&NS jobs as of the current reading (which reflects the level as of April 2021) rose to $871.79, a change of +0.78% from its revised level the month prior. The upward change in this series reflects the slow restoration of the low-wage/low-hours positions that had grown substantially in number over the course of the four years prior to the pandemic, as well as some across- the-board increases in hourly wages seen over recent months. The JQ-Instant TM 

preliminary read of the 492,000 gain in all private sector, non-farm payrolls for May 2021 shows that 82.52% of such gain in private sector jobs were in industry sectors offering P&NS jobs with an average weekly income below the mean weekly income of all P&NS jobs (i.e., Low Quality Jobs). This reading was due to the substantial gain in May of jobs in the leisure and hospitality, healthcare and social assistance and administrative and waste services sectors, offset by a slight decline in retail job headcount. 

Daniel Alpert, co-creator of the U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index, said

"Low Quality Job sectors, which contain the bulk of the net jobs lost during the pandemic through May 2021, are only slowly rebuilding headcount. Accordingly, the JQI remains well above its pre-pandemic level."

For an explanatory video on the JQI, please see: http://www.vimeo.com/jqi.

This news release presents data from the most recent JQI reading calculated through the month immediately prior to the month covered by this release. The JQI assesses job quality in the United States by measuring desirable higher-wage/higher-hour jobs versus lower-wage/lower-hour jobs. The JQI offers a near-real time analytical tool to policymakers, researchers and financial market participants with relevance to a variety of trends in the economy at large. The JQI analyzes a representative sample of the economy using production and non-supervisory job (P&NS) data from 180 different industry groups spanning across all 20 super-sectors into which the BLS groups establishments. The principal data utilized is contained in the Current Employment Survey (CES, also often referred to as the establishment survey) P&NS data on average weekly hours, average hourly wage and total employment for each given industry group (seasonally adjusted, in all cases). The JQI is updated on a monthly basis contemporaneously with the release of new CES data from the BLS.

The JQ-Instant reading is for the month covered by this release and has implications for the likely direction of the JQI itself in future months. As the JQI is reported as a three-month rolling average of actual monthly readings, significant imbalances (readings varying from an even distribution between high- and low-quality jobs) in the JQ-Instant results would suggest future JQI readings moving in the direction of the dominant side of such distribution.

The U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index (patent pending) is a joint development of the Program on the Law and Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets at the Jack G. Clarke Institute of Cornell Law School, the University of Missouri Kansas City Department of Economics, the Coalition for a Prosperous America, and the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity.

For more information, and to read the full report, visit https://www.jobqualityindex.com/.

©2021 JQI IP Holdings LLC. “Private Sector Job Quality Index” and “JQI” are registered trademarks of JQI IP Holdings LLC. The Private Sector Job Quality Index is patent pending, application number US 62/900,923. Cornell logo and Cornell Law School and Jack G. Clarke Program names and references used with permission.




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