Employment & Economic Trends

Employment & Economic Trends



VA Employment Change

Low Wage Workers

Earnings Data by Gender

Web Series

Telecommuting may become Virginia’s biggest demographic trend in the 2020s
In the last three years that Census data is available (2015-2018), the number of Americans who primarily telecommute (working from home) rose by over 1.6 million, after increasing by less than 1.5 million between 2000 and 2010. If Virginians who primarily worked at home were grouped together as an industry, it would easily be Virginia’s fastest growing industry, increasing by 43 percent since 2010.

It’s time to think about middle-skill jobs and education
In a time where traditional college enrollment is expected to decrease, and job market skills rapidly change with innovation, it may be time to rethink our higher education system and invest in other alternatives.

A greater number of jobs require more education, leaving middle-skill workers with fewer opportunities.
Between 1980 and 2015, occupations requiring a higher level of job preparation (including education, experience, and job training) grew by 68 percent whereas occupations requiring less preparation increased by only 31 percent.

Since 2010 household incomes have risen the most in rural Virginia
While the median household income in Virginia’s non-metro areas is lower than in metro areas, it has risen by 12 percent since 2010, compared to just 5 percent in Virginia’s metro areas. Similarly, poverty rates outside Virginia’s metro areas have fallen more than in Virginia’s metro areas since 2010 and are now lower than before the recession.

Manufacturing employment in Virginia
In a Bureau of Labor Statistics list of “20 Industries with Most Rapidly Declining Wage and Salary Employment, 2016-2026,” 14 of them are from the manufacturing sector.

Who are Virginia’s disconnected youth?
Typically, labor force participation among teens (16-19) and young adults (20-24) is often secondary to their pursuit of education, but there are a significant number of 16-24-year-olds within the out-of-work population who are neither in school nor gainfully employed.

Gender differences in Virginia’s out-of-work population
Of the 650,000 Virginians who are currently out-of-work, 40% are male while the remaining are female. More than 300,000 women are not-in-the-labor-force and account for 48% of the population who are not working and not seeking work.

Youth labor force participation and workplace readiness in Virginia
Youth labor force participation has recently been declining, which means that a larger share of this age group is postponing their obtainment of the valuable work experience that employers desire.

Job polarization in Virginia means fewer middle-wage jobs
While the number of low-and high-wage jobs in Virginia has increased compared to pre-recession levels, middle-wage jobs have only recovered about a third of their recessionary losses.

In most of the United States the working age population is now shrinking
As the large baby boomer generation leaves the workforce, there will be hardly enough twenty-year-olds entering the workforce to replace them.

Examining evidence for the gender wage gap
Two human capital-based studies show a significant difference between men’s and women’s earnings.

Why you are paid what you are paid? More on the gender wage gap.
As we try to establish whether men systematically out-earn women we need to consider whether this is a direct result of gender alone.

Please consume responsibly: Earnings data and the gender wage gap
While comparing wages might appear to be the most obvious way to get at the answer to the gender wage gap, careful consideration of the data reveals why this task is not as straightforward as it may appear.

Virginia’s changing economy
A BLS map on industry sectors shows clearly America’s shift from manufacturing to retail to healthcare.  

Low-wage workers are more diverse than you think
Understanding how an increased minimum wage will affect individuals first requires examining common arguments about low-wage workers.

“Seeing” Virginia’s Workforce
Nathan Yau’s interactive chart of Jobs by State and Salary give us a better picture of Virginia’s workforce.

“Breadwinner” Moms in Virginia: A closer look at single mothers
The lives of single mothers who have never been married is quite different from those who have been married before. 

Breadwinner Moms in Virginia: A closer look at unmarried mothers
Cohabiting mothers represent about 4 percent of all Virginia mothers, and about 16 percent of unmarried mothers. 

“Breadwinner” Moms in Virginia: Distinct Populations
This post explores the key differences between married and unmarried breadwinner moms and examines earnings trends relative to these differences.

“Breadwinner” Moms in Virginia
40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.

A trend is your friend: the latest unemployment and poverty numbers
While the national poverty rate may finally be leveling off or declining, some states will surely still see increases or not see declines for some time.

Jobs and gender
It is difficult to analyze the changing gender balance in specific occupations between 1950 and 2000 because the occupational landscape has changed so radically.

How to succeed financially: The American template
With higher employment rates, higher income, and greater access to fringe benefits like health insurance and pension plans, obtaining a college degree remains important for economic success.

Much ado about Canada
According to a recent study, the average Canadian household’s net worth is, for the first time in recent history, higher than the average American household’s net worth

Employment is up, wages are down
Employment rose nationwide in 2011, but the average weekly wage fell 1.7 percent according to data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Changes in family net worth, 2001-2010
When we examine trends in net worth between 2001-2010 by family position in the income distribution, three different stories emerge.

Student loans and social benefits are not the worst problem
Youth unemployment has long term consequences for lifetime earnings and job stability.

Job gains and losses, 2007-2012
The Pew Center on the States recently published an interactive graphic on job gains and losses among the states. 

Computers really are taking our jobs
This technological revolution is possibly more dramatic than the Industrial Revolution that transformed world economies and generated a period of mass dislocation and loss of work in the 18th and 19th centuries.

New BLS Occupation Data
The most important assumption is that over the next decade, the U.S. economy will recover from the deep shock of the 2007-09 recession and return to something approaching full employment by 2020. 

Occupation change, 1920-2010
Students entering the workforce today face a dramatically different landscape of jobs than their parents did in the 1980s or their grandparents in the 1950s.

Wage gap for mothers
Is the wage gap is a result of discrimination against pregnant women and mothers or is it simply from self-selection, where mothers make voluntary decisions about their education and career that lead to lower wages?

Past year brought good news for Virginia, nation
The Bureau of Labor Statistics release of 2011 annual averages of regional and state unemployment shows continued good economic news for both the nation and Virginia.


Virginia Magazine

Understanding the gender wage gap
To isolate the effect of gender in determining wage, we must examine the effects on earnings of experience, education, rank and industry.

WAMU 88.5

Loudoun county leads region on gender income inequality
In Loudoun County, the median income for men is $75,000 and for women it’s $40,000.

Census Brief

Low-Wage Employment
This report provides a national snapshot of the numbers and characteristics of low-wage workers—those making less than $10.10/hour—and their families.