Aside from the semi-recovery of manufacturing, the economy is still generating work mostly at the high and low end of the pay spectrum, without a ton of opportunities in the middle.

If nothing else, the U.S. job market has become remarkably consistent.

In 2011, the country added a modest 1.84 million jobs, largely in professional and business services, health care, the food industry, manufacturing, and retail.

In 2012, it added–drum roll please–1.84 million new jobs, largely in professional and business services, health care, the food industry, manufacturing, and retail. Those figures might change slightly as the BLS adjusts its November and newly released December reports in the coming months, but the fact remains that our job market now has locked into a slow rhythm, producing roughly the same number of jobs in roughly the same sectors of the economy two years running. And it’s not nearly enough to heal the damage done by the recession.

BLS_Payroll_Survey_1.9.13

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Source: Jordan Weissmann | The Atlantic | January 4, 2013
Image: BLS Payroll Survey | The Atlantic