Wage gap

Why this is the jobs recovery for the 1%

April 4, 2014: 2:36 PM ET

The rebound has been particularly good for those in management and professional services jobs. Finance workers make 20% more.

140404113513-falling-safety-net-620xaFORTUNE -- The better off are still better off. And the rest of us are not doing any better at catching up.

This month's jobs report, which came out on Friday, showed that we have nearly regained all the jobs that were lost in the recession. That's good, I guess. But it's also depressing that it took six years to get back to where we were -- the longest period on record. Prosperity is supposed to increase over time, not just do loops. That's not the only good reason to still be worried about the health of our jobs market. Here are three more.

Indeed, the March jobs numbers are a reminder of how lopsided the recovery has been. There are some people who are doing better than before the recession, it's just not the majority of us.

MORE: How to tame skyrocketing CEO pay?

For example, there are now more CEOs and bosses than there were back in 2008. About 1.2 million more people are employed as managers than before the beginning of the recession. There are also more management and technical consultants than before the recession, up by 219,000. The number of people who are designing computer systems rose by more than 316,000 from a year before.

The sector of the economy that has had the biggest jump in jobs since the beginning of the recession is education and health services. There are 2.4 million more teachers and nurses and similarly employed people than in 2008. But average wages of those workers have risen just 10% since 2008, or about 1.5% a year.

The financial industry, on the other hand, had about 400,000 fewer workers than it did in 2008. But salaries are up 20%.

MORE: What's behind the collapse in teen unemployment?

Of course, an increase in high-paying jobs is a positive sign for the economy. But overall, that's not what we are getting. Since the beginning of the recession about 1.1 million Americans have switched from high-paying jobs to low-wage work. And they have been joined by another 300,000 workers who also now work in lower-wage industries. On top of that, there are 295,000 more temp workers in the economy than there were before the recession.

The labor market is improving. But this is still a recovery of the 1%.

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