Is Health Care the New Manufacturing: Industry, Gender, and “Good Jobs” for Low- and Middle-skill Workers
Janette Dill, PhD
Division of Health Policy & Management
Using the 2004 and 2008 panels of the Survey for Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we examine whether the heavily feminized health care industry produces “good jobs” for workers without a college degree as compared to other major industries. For women, we find that jobs in the health care industry are significantly more likely than the food service and retail industries to provide wages above $15 per hour, health benefits, fulltime hours, and job security. Jobs in the health care industry are not “good jobs” for low- and middle-skill men in terms of wages, relative to the industries of construction and manufacturing, but health care jobs can provide men with greater job security, and in comparison to construction, a higher probability of employer-based health insurance. That said, the findings emphasize that because men and women are differentially distributed across industries, access to different forms of job quality is also gendered across industries, with important implications for gender dynamics and economic strain within working class families.
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