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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Minnesota: Is Health Care the New “Manufacturing” When It Comes to Good Jobs?

A new study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health examined “good jobs” (i.e., decent wages, access to health benefits, regular hours and job security) for low- and middle-skill workers across industries, with a focus on health care sector jobs, which are on the rise and female-dominated, and manufacturing jobs, which are on the decline and male-dominated.

The study results recently published in the journal Social Science Research found there were trade-offs — job security vs. higher wages, for example, among different jobs — and definite gender differences across employment sectors for low- and middle-skill workers. 

Given the continued decline in blue-collar, male-dominated industries, the health care sector may increasingly replace manufacturing as a source of steady and reliable work for working class families. However, family income could suffer.

“Health care jobs are the new working-class jobs,” said Dr. Janette Dill, an associate professor and author of the study. “Manufacturing jobs are on the decline, and we need to figure out how we are going to improve the lives and jobs of health care workers without a college degree. The well-being of working-class families depends on it.” 

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