3 Reasons Why 'Good Jobs' Are Vanishing

man in cubicle with head in his hands
man in cubicle with head in his hands

It's not just you. Landing a good position with full benefits, including both a health care and retirement plan, has gotten tougher -- a lot tougher.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal think tank, found the percentage of workers with "good jobs" -- earning at least $37,000 a year with benefits -- fell to 24.6 in 2010, from 27.4 in 1979. That's a drop-off of roughly half a million workers. And while low-paying and temp jobs have also been growing over that same time period, the number of temp jobs has exploded since the recession began in 2009. According to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of temp jobs have risen 50 percent over the past for years and now total 2.7 million.

"Hundreds of thousands of workers have a standard of living that's lower than what their parents had 30 years earlier," observes Chris Owens, the executive director for the National Employment Law Project.

As the CEPR report notes, workers of all ages and educational status are finding it harder to secure good, full-time positions with benefits. Three factors appear to be at play for why more Americans are stuck in crappy jobs: