Over the past 30 years, the quality of American jobs has deteriorated markedly, as more Americans have been forced to take low-wage, low-hour jobs, often without any benefits. The U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index (JQI) was developed by CPA and its partners to provide a monthly index of the quality of US jobs. Using federal government data, we divide the entire 100-million-plus US workforce of production/nonsupervisory employees into either high quality or low quality depending on whether their weekly pay falls above or below the weekly average for the full workforce. The ratio of high-quality jobs to low-quality jobs yields the JQI.
The JQI is today around 85, indicating there are 100 low-quality jobs for every 85 high-quality jobs. Job quality has deteriorated significantly since the data series began in 1990.
The JQI is a development of a consortium of the following institutions:
- Researchers at the Program on the Law and Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets of the Jack G. Clarke Institute at Cornell University Law School
- Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA)
- University of Missouri – Kansas City Department of Economics (UMKC)
- Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity (GISP)