The U.S. is on Track to Add More Than 8 Million Jobs Over the Next Five Years, But Opportunities for Middle Wage Workers Will Continue to Lag

CareerBuilder’s New AI-Powered Mobile Technology Can Help Workers Plan Their Next Career Move

A new study from CareerBuilder points to a continued hollowing effect in the labor market where high-wage and low-wage job growth is eclipsing middle-wage job growth by a significant margin. Based on extensive analysis of historical and current labor market trends, the U.S. is expected to add 8,310,003 jobs (5.08 percent growth) from 2018 to 2023 – only one-fourth of these jobs will fall within the middle-wage category. Factored into the total job growth is an expected loss of 369,879 jobs over the same time period, with middle wage occupations experiencing the majority of the decline.

Key Findings:

  • High-wage and low-wage occupations are expected to have the highest net job growth from 2018 to 2023 at 5.71 percent and 5.69 percent, respectively. Middle wage employment will grow at 3.83 percent.
  • High-wage and low-wage occupations will each add 1 million more jobs than middle-wage occupations from 2018 to 2023. High-wage occupations are expected to add 3,117,284 jobs and low-wage occupations are expected to add 3,098,476 jobs compared to 2,094,243 new jobs for middle-wage occupations.
  • A total of 121 occupations will experience a decline in jobs between 2018 and 2023 – 75 of those occupations are middle-wage. Across the 121 total occupations, 369,879 jobs will be lost with middle-wage occupations accounting for 58 percent of the loss.
  • STEM-related occupations (science, technology, engineering and math) will continue to dominate fast-growing occupations.

For the purposes of this study, CareerBuilder defined low-wage jobs as those that pay $14.17 or less per hour; middle-wage jobs as $14.18-$23.59 per hour; and high-wage jobs as $23.24 per hour. The analysis is based on data from Emsi and focuses on 774 occupations that are classified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It includes data for workers who are employed with organizations and those who are self-employed.

“Technology innovation is moving at an unprecedented rate and is rapidly redefining the occupations and skills required in the job market,” said Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Most of the fastest-growing occupations have a technical component to them. Employers will need to play a greater role in providing competency-based training to the workforce. At the same time, workers across all job levels will need to continually pursue opportunities to upskill in order to maneuver around accelerated shifts in labor demand. This is a particularly pressing issue for middle-wage workers who are at greater risk for becoming displaced and workers in general who want to move up into better-paying jobs.”

CareerBuilder recently launched a new mobile revolutionthat uses artificial intelligence to help workers in all wage categories make their next career move. The popular job search app helps you build resumes in a matter of minutes by prepopulating skills associated with a job title and company – and will even apply to jobs on your behalf if desired. It provides an augmented reality view of nearby jobs – and what they pay – when you walk around downtown, a mall or any other area. The app also shows you higher-paying jobs that require minimal training and options to upskill to help you build your career.

To provide workers with some insights into specific occupations that will add jobs at a strong rate from 2018 to 2023, CareerBuilder compiled a list of examples for each wage category:


Fast-Growing Occupations By Wage Category 2018 Jobs 2023 Jobs Jobs Added 2018 to 2023

2018 to 2023 

% Change

Median Hourly Earnings
High Wage
Registered Nurses 3,040,884 3,295,931 255,047 8.39% $33.55
Software Developers, Applications 921,232 1,064,698 143,466 15.57% $48.49
Postsecondary Teachers 1,530,589 1,641,544 110,955 7.25% $33.53
Accountants and Auditors 1,428,748 1,514,827 86,079 6.02% $32.33
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 660,150 743,337 83,187 12.6% $30.21
Computer User Support Specialists 722,078 776,122 54,044 7.48% $24.16
Plumbers, Pipefitters and Steamfitters 508,702 552,327 43,625 8.58% $23.72
Middle Wage
Customer Service Representatives 2,864,930 2,985,603 120,673 4.21% $15.88
Medical Assistants 705,056 807,330 102,274 14.51% $15.62
Construction Laborers 1,404,290 1,496,472 92,182 6.56% $14.73
Maintenance and Repair Workers, General 1,552,441 1,636,372 83,931 5.41% $18.08
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 753,975 809,320 55,345 7.34% $21.56
Light Truck or Delivery Service Drivers 954,204 1,003,041 48,837 5.12% $15.04
Billing and Posting Clerks 515,706 559,989 44,283 8.59% $17.85
Low Wage
Home Health Aides 926,500 1,134,232 207,732 22.42% $11.17
Waiters and Waitresses 2,666,275 2,812,556 146,281 5.49% $10.01
Retail Salespersons 4,574,115 4,682,344 108,229 2.37% $11.29
Cooks, Restaurant 1,349,883 1,450,547 100,664 7.46% $12.06
Nursing Assistants 1,522,723 1,619,107 96,384 6.33% $13.23
Security Guards 1,210,962 1,272,926 61,964 5.12% $12.97
Receptionists and Information Clerks 1,104,928 1,174,389 69,461 6.29% $13.70

Source: Emsi Occupation Data, 2018

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is a global technology company that provides end-to-end HR solutions to help employers find, hire and onboard great talent, and helps job seekers build new skills and progressive careers as the modern world of work changes. A known disruptor for nearly 25 years, CareerBuilder is the only company that offers both software and services to cover every step of the “hello to hire™” process, enabling its customers to free up valuable resources across their HR tech supply chain to drive their business forward. Specializing in talent acquisition recruiting platforms, employment screening and human capital management, CareerBuilder is the largest provider of AI-powered hiring solutions serving the majority of the Fortune 500 across five specialized markets. CareerBuilder is majority-owned by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC and operates in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. For more information,

Media Contact

Jennifer Grasz