What is happening to middle skill workers?
This report asks what is happening to middle-skill workers. Driven by mega trends such as automation, ageing and offshoring, the share of jobs whose wages placed them firmly in the middle of the wage distribution has been declining. Termed job polarisation, economists have observed the decline in the share of middle-skill jobs in the majority of OECD labour markets. One little explored question is where are these workers going? This report examines what workers are doing who in the past would have been employed in middle-skill jobs. The report first examines the traits of previous middle-skill workers to build a picture of the ‘typical’ middle-skill worker. Using this profile, the report next examines what types of jobs a worker with the typical middle-skill profile is taking, and how likely such a worker is to be working. The study then analyses different metrics of job stability and compensation to put in perspective what shifts out of middle-skill work imply for labour market outcomes.