Minority new hires near majority: New Hires Quality Index

Workers examine sticky notes

The Upjohn Institute New Hires Quality Index for August 2019 shows the earnings power of people starting a new job rose 1.2 percent from the previous year, to $16.74. While slightly down from last month’s all-time high, it still represents rapid year-over-year growth.

This month, Index creator Brad Hershbein looks at prime-age workers, people 25 to 54. In recent months, the growth in the prime-age labor force participation rate—the share of this group with a job or actively looking for one—has slowed and remains below its pre-recession peak. The wage index for prime-age new hires has also trailed the overall index since the start of the Great Recession, although that gap has started to close.

Hiring volume for prime-age workers has fallen behind, however, and the share of new hires who are prime-age is now under 50 percent. Given the aging population, though, the share of the population that is prime-age has fallen even more. As a result, prime-age workers have experienced less of a decline per capita than workers overall.

Hershbein also explores the racial and ethnic composition of the new hires mix, predicting that racial and ethnic minorities will soon comprise the majority of new prime-age hires.

Read the full release or explore the Index.

Date: October 2, 2019