With the demand for labor expected to shift in the post-pandemic economy, new research from the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Cleveland examines how transferable skills could both pave the way for lower-wage workers to move up to higher-paying positions and help meet the talent needs of employers.
Based on an analysis of job advertisements in the 33 largest metro areas in the country, the report, Exploring a Skills-Based Approach to Occupational Mobility (PDF), finds a high degree of similarity between the skills employers seek when filling lower-wage jobs and the skills demanded for opportunity occupations, or occupations that do not typically require a bachelor’s degree and that pay above the national annual median wage (adjusted for local cost-of-living differences).
The report estimates that transitioning to similar higher-paying occupations could represent an average annual increase in wages of nearly $15,000, or 49%. Further, nearly half (49%) of lower-wage jobs in the metro areas analyzed can be paired with at least one higher-paying occupation requiring similar skills but no bachelor’s degree. In conjunction with targeted training, hiring processes that recognize the portability of skills across occupations could not only promote economic mobility for lower-wage workers but also help meet the talent needs of employers.
The report includes detailed findings for the 33 metro areas analyzed.
This figure shows lower-wage employment with a top transition and average increase in annual median wages from top transitions by metro area. It’s part of a new report by the Cleveland and Philadelphia Feds.
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