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Changes in the Structure and Quality of Jobs in the United States: Effects by Race and Gender, 1973–1990

Listed author(s):
  • Maury B. Gittleman
  • David R. Howell

Using 17 measures of job quality from the 1980 Census, the Current Population Survey, and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, the authors perform a cluster analysis that groups 621 jobs covering 94% of the work force into six job categories (termed “contours†), a job classification closely resembling those suggested by labor market segmentation theory. The distribution of employment over the period 1973–90 shifted sharply away from the two middle-quality contours toward the two highest-quality contours. The two lowest-quality contours show no decline in employment share in the 1980s. The declining relative position of employed black and Hispanic men stems from both a worsening job mix relative to white men and a sharp drop in the quality of low-skill jobs. Female workers experienced both a greater shift away from jobs in the lower-quality contours and higher real earnings growth within each job contour than male workers.

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Article provided by Cornell University, ILR School in its journal Industrial & Labor Relations Review.

Volume (Year): 48 (1995)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 420-440

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Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:48:y:1995:i:3:p:420-440
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