Sep 22, 2020 - Economy

Why high-wage jobs aren't coming back

Reproduced from Indeed; Chart: Axios Visuals
Reproduced from Indeed; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has caught up with high-wage jobs.

The big picture: Early on, the pandemic walloped hiring across the wage spectrum and in every sector. Now, states have opened up, and the lower-wage retail and restaurant jobs have slowly come back — but higher-paying jobs are lagging behind.

  • Postings for the highest-paying jobs on the site Indeed are down 24% year-over-year, even though most of the work in this wage bracket can be done from home.
  • Compare that with low-wage jobs (down just 12%) and middle-wage jobs (down 18%).

The decline in postings for high-paying work is likely due to the fact that tech and finance companies are adjusting their hiring plans to cut costs amid the recession, says Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed.

  • "High-wage sectors often think differently about hiring," he says. "It costs them more to fire and hire than it does low-wage sectors."

"There's also less churn," says Kolko. People are less likely to leave their jobs in the middle of a pandemic, and so companies don't have to look for new talent to replace employees who have left.

Go deeper: Companies are leaving jobs behind to cut costs

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