Rausch has been the business editor since September 2008, previously serving as senior business reporter. He joined the Chronicle in April 2007. He has written for newspapers in Napoleon, Ohio, Moline, Ill., and Lima, Ohio. He holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Ohio University (1992). In 2006, he received a second place award in business writing from the Association Press in Ohio.
Posted August 15, 2014 01:14 pm - Updated August 21, 2014 01:16 pm

Jobs recovered, but not the wages

There’s been press on the fact that the number of jobs lost from the Great Recession have been recovered. Now there is some data on the jobs that came back – and they don’t pay as well as the jobs that vanished.


The U.S. Conference of Mayors has been analyzing wage gaps for other recessions and released a report about the last one.


The average wage of the 8.7 million jobs lost in the Great Recession was $61,637. The average of all the jobs that were re-gained is $47,171.


When you hear about the erosion of the middle class since the recession, that’s what they’re talking about. High-wage manufacturing and construction jobs went away and were replaced by lower-wage hospitality and health care jobs, the mayors’ conference reported.


The mayors’ group also asserts that more of the share in wage growth has been going to the richest wage earners. They do that by showing the average wage has been getting higher at a faster rate than the median wage. If everything was equal, the midpoint would rise just as fast as the average.


“But if average income rises at a faster pace than median income, it usually indicates that more and more income is being concentrated among the richer households.”


That’s what happened in the U.S. from 2005 to 2012. And that’s what’s been happening in Augusta, too.


Average income nationwide increased 14.0 percent (from $62,556 in 2005 to $71,317 in 2012), according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Median income, however, went up at the slower pace of 11.1 percent (from $46,242 to $51,371).


In the appendix of the report is Augusta’s figures.


The average income went up 9.9 percent and the median went up 5.9 percent. Translation: The middle class isn’t keeping up.


Circling back to the first part, it can be seen why. The better-paying, middle-class jobs went away.


The U.S. has recovered its jobs, but not recovered its wages.



  • O’Charley’s on Robert C. Daniel Parkway in #Augusta is reopening after a week of renovations. 
  • Hull College of Business said its #Augusta Leading Economic Index increased 0.5 percent in June, four months of growth since the ice storm. 
  • Two-story H&M clothing store now open in the #Augusta Mall. 
  • #Augusta gained 200 jobs in July.