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Impact of the American Jobs Act on High Demand and High-Paying Jobs

Updated on August 25, 2013
A slump and decline in job numbers in 2011 was followed by an increase in late 2012.
A slump and decline in job numbers in 2011 was followed by an increase in late 2012. | Source

President Barack Obama presented his American Jobs Act of 2011 subsequent to months of rising National Unemployment Rates of 9.1% in July and August of that year. America asked the question: Will the AJA help create new jobs and will it do so quickly? Some Americans asked if the act was viable and necessary or more simply a prelude toward a platform of campaign promises in the upcoming 2012 Presidential Election.

Related to 2012 and the predicted jobs market, GOP POTUS candidate hopefuls like Mitt Romney, businessman though he is, did not offer viable complete plans for job stimulus in their bids for candidacy. This did not help cure a growing distrust among the unemployed toward business in general. Eugene Levy's used car salesman character on Second City TV, with his plaid suit, dance, and slogan that every car has a story, seemed more believable to some people than did the Romneys of the world. This group saw Mitt as a used car salesman in slick hair, smug expression, and expensive suit, selling an auto whose engine will fall out as you turn the first corner after purchase.

Similarities: FDR's Jobs for All Bill of 1935

Under the New Deal, the Works Progress Administration created jobs for three million men in America and aided in providing infrastructure and national parks development during The Great Depression.

US States Created Jobs

While opinions varied on the American Jobs Act in early days, certain US States were creating jobs on their own, under Stimulus Funding and other federal monies. One was Ohio.

Under Governor Ted Strickland (2006 - 2010), the northeast and southwest quadrants of the state were targeted for improvement in education and jobs creation. In the north, the University of Toledo provided free tuition for area residents to pursue studies that could lead to long-term employment. In the south, from Cincinnati north to Westchester, Dayton, Fairborn, and New Carlisle, focus was directed on boosting the Ohio Space Corridor industries. Improvements to the Dayton-Fairborn Avation Heritage Region also helped jobs as related tourism grew.

Even though Columbus was named the Number 1 High Tech City in the US later in these years, young professionals oftne moved to 1) Florida and 2) the Space Corridor. In Cincinnati, these workers found jobs not only in electronics/computers and aerospace/defense manufacturing, but also in a number of retail management positions.

Through the efforts of both Strickland and Governor John Kasich (2011 - 2014), manufacturing jobs increased in Northeastern Ohio, while Kasich made plans to improve jobs creation in the remaining quadrant. These latter jobs would come from a massive Ohio River Bridge Project and a uranium enrichment project in Piketon some 60 miles south of the state capital. In addition, the Governor explored expansions in natural gas and shale oil production. At the same time, Kasich seemed in general to work against labor unions, which are active in connection with new jobs creation in infrastructure and energy sectors.


Job sharing came to a brighter light in the 1980 Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton. Lily Tomlin film 9 to 5. Pairs of working moms each worked half a day, AM or PM, to accomodate care of their families. According to the film, it worked. Given the rise of freelance writers and others today that need to supplement their incomes while their businesses build, taking half-day jobs within work sharing measures sounds like a workable arrangement.

Jobs and a Jobs Act

In September 2011, a year and one quarter before the 2012 elections, where were the jobs in America and what sort of work did they entail?

Throughout 2009 to 3rd QTR 2001, job openings listed across all Internet sources totaled from 4.5 Million to 6+ Million available. Still, at least twice as many Americans were looking for work. However, in mid-September 2011, only 3.6 million job listings could be found - a significant reduction in available jobs. At the same time, the American Jobs Act was introduced. The AJA Fact Sheet (linked to the right) states that 5 million people were looking for work when it was instroduced in Summer 2011. The figure may be low.

The act includes tax cuts, tax incentives, school and infrastructure improvements, Unemployment Insurance overhaul and worksharing, among other measures. Some of these may be effective measures; however, tax cuts and incentives to small businesses as a whole may need to be longer-term in order to produce enough jobs for American workers. We need to know much more about the UI overhaul. Worksharing might work in some metro areas.

Worksharing has been done in France and minorly in the USA (as job sharing). In this measure, the average work week is reduced so that others can work the remaining hours. For example a 40-hour week is reduced to two 20-hour jobs in the case of working moms in the USA. Generally, the trend seems to be to reduce full-time work to 30 hours, leaving 10 hours to place into another position. At the same time, Unemployment Insurance as it stood in 2011 covered only workers that worked 35 or more hours per week. Would the UI overhaul address this problem?

  • What job titles offered the largest numbers of jobs during this period of 9.1% Unemployment in July, August, and early September 2011?


History: November 2010 - October 2012

  • Part-Time jobs increased 16%
  • Contract jobs increased 70% - This is a huge increase. Contract jobs save several employer expenses related to payroll and insurances.
  • Temporary jobs increased 28% - This suggests futher unemployment.
  • Permanent jobs decreased 30% - This is discouraging and suggests further unemploment.
  • Full-Time jobs increased 3% - This figure needs to rise substantially and is rising in some US States.
  • Number of American jobs advertised jumped tremendously in number in October 2012:

History: October 2012

  • The number of open jobs available in America and advertised on any and all Internet sites that list jobs increased from about about 3,500,000 to over 5,000,000.openings the day after a televised Presidential Debate between President Barack Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney.

November 2009 to October 2012

Numbers of jobs advertised stayed around 3,500,000 listings untll the autumn of 2012.
Numbers of jobs advertised stayed around 3,500,000 listings untll the autumn of 2012. | Source
"0" means no increase and is the level at which job numbers begin on this graph, around 3,500,000.
"0" means no increase and is the level at which job numbers begin on this graph, around 3,500,000. | Source

Total jobs listed (advertised) decreased 1.5 million during August-September 2011 and stayed around 3.5 million for many months, but jumped upward in October 2012.

  • If only 5,000,000 people were looking for work in September, as stipulated by the AJA, then millions of people must have been hired during the end weeks of the summer. This is because previously, 4 to 6 million jobs were listed, with twice as many people looking for work.
  • If 5,000,000 unemployed = 9.1% Unemployment, then the total number of workers employed in America was only about 55,000,000, which is incorrect. The correct number is far higher, nearly 154 Million in August 2011 (BLS). We must have had a larger number of people unemployed.

Snapshot: Industrial Sectors Listing Most Jobs in August 2013

  1. Healthcare
  2. Information Technology
  3. Transporation
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Construction

>>The ratings slots of these industries have changed since 2011, as shown below.

Most Jobs Listed 8/11

  1. Transportation
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Construction
  4. Information Technology
  5. Media, Human Resources, Hospitality
  6. Healthcare
  7. Accounting
  8. Financial Services/Banking
  9. Education
  10. Real Estate

Top 10 Industrial Sectors 7/11

  1. Transportation
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Construction
  4. Information Technology
  5. Accounting
  6. Media
  7. Human Resources
  8. Financial Services/Banking
  9. Hospitality
  10. Retail and Healthcare - tied



The top four sectors listing the most jobs remained constant for July and August 2011 during 9.1% national Unemployment: Transportation, Manufacturing, Construction, and Information Technology. Ranking come from BLS as well as and, which gather all positions open listed on all Internet sources.

Increases in Job Listings in August 2011

  • Healthcare experienced a record high for listings in July 2011, holding fairly steady in August.
  • Manufacturing jobs, by August, had increased a full 37% for 2011.
  • Education related jobs increased 10% over August 2010.
  • Human Resources jobs reached nearly 73,000 in August 2011 on SimlpyHired and Indeed.

21st Century Manufacturing

Laptop drives manufactured at Seagate.
Laptop drives manufactured at Seagate. | Source

History: Wage Distribution of Jobs in 3rd QTR 2011 at the Announcement of the American Jobs Act

The following sections comprise a summary of the most frequently advertised jobs for this time period, across the country, by pay range.

On September 15, 2011 New Jobs Listings increased by somewhat 500,000 from 9:00 AM to 9PM, to over 3.6 Million nationwide.

Highest Paid Jobs: $100,000/year or more - 440+K (over 440,000) jobs

  • Family Practice Physicians
  • Some Executive Positions outside medicine - Includes some Attorneys
  • Internal Medicine Physicians
  • Asset Protection Specialists
  • Hospitalist Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Travel Physical Therapists and Travel Occupational Therapist - The demand for travel healthcare positions like travel nursing, travel phsycians, travel physical therapists and others is growing. These jobs pay higher wages, provide up to a year of rent or mortgage payment, and additional fringe benefits. Watch for this field of work to increase further after 2020.
  • Hedge Fund Managers and similar
  • Risk Analysts

Next Highest Paid Jobs: $60,000 to 79,999/year - 231K jobs

  • Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Registered Nurses - Licensed RNs
  • Some Pizza Hut Management/Execs
  • Project Managers - IT and other fields
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Java Developers
  • Software Engineers
  • Business Analysts - IT-related jobs
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • .NET Developers
  • Some Family Practice Physicians
  • Some Office Managers

Next Highest Paid Jobs: $80,000 to 99,999/year - 345K jobs

  • Physical Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Java Developers
  • Project Managers
  • Software Engineers and Network Administrations
  • Business Development Executives
  • Market Data Infrastructure Engineers
  • Program Managers
  • Some Technology Positions

Next Highest Paid Jobs: $20,000 to 39,999/year - 1.12 Million Jobs

  • Shift Supervisors - Wide range of industries.
  • Pharmacy Technicians
  • Crew People - McDonalds, CVS/Pharmacy, other
  • Customer Service Reps
  • Assistant Managers
  • Administrative Assistants
  • Salespeople and Merchandisers
  • Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs)
  • Some Business Analysts
  • Pizza Hut jobs, crew to management

Next Highest Paid Jobs: $40,000 to 59,999/year - 671K jobs

  • Truck Drivers - CDL, owner-operators, company drivers, other
  • Physical and Occupational Therapists
  • Registered Nurses (RNs)
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Executive Assistants
  • Financial Analysts
  • Photo Lab Supervisors
  • Program Managers
  • Some Software Engineers
  • Some Attorneys

Lowest-Paid Jobs and Part-Time Jobs Grossing Less than $20,000 per year

Lowest paying jobs in 2011 and 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics include the following job titles that make Approximately $18 - 20K/year Full-Time ($346 to 384 per week, before taxes):

  1. Fast Food Cooks
  2. Food Prep and Service Workers (they both prepare and serve foods and beverages)
  3. Dishwashers
  4. Shampooers in beauty salons
  5. Counter Attendants - Food and Coffee Places
  6. Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants
  7. Dining Hosts and Hostesses
  8. Amusement Park Attendants
  9. Cashiers - especially in groceries
  10. Farm Workers

Which Jobs Will the American Jobs Act Increase?

Some jobs are increasing naturally in the national job market, many being Service Industry jobs that increase as the population increases. Not all US States enjoy the same rate of increase and some states do not increase in these jobs. These positions include openings in grocery stores, dining establishments, schools, daycare centers, hospitals and clinics, retail outlets, entertainment venues, a variety of sales venues, and others. Freight Transportation for sales should continue to increase as well.

It remains to be seen which jobs the American Jobs Act will increase long-term, but one prediction is that low-to-moderate pay ranges will experience increased jobs. The largest sector of Americans does not possess the education and certification required for most of the highest paid jobs advertised during this time period. Hopefully, tax cuts and incentives will spur the many imaginative and adventurous among these citizens to open their own businesses and create jobs for others.

As privatized space flight, singly and in partnership with NASA, more strongly targets retrieving natural resources from Mars, the asteroid belt beyond, and possibly from Earth's moon, associated planning, manufacturing, and operations positions are likely to increase in number. Alternative energy production can create new jobs, as can accessing the oil and natural deposits in North Dakota, Alaska, Ohio and other states. Information Technologyis entering every industry and nearly every job and will continue to expand in jobs as it does so. Infrastructure improvements can produces 1,000s of jobs as it did in The Great Depression. The Ohio River Bridges Project is one example - each bridge involved needs replacement and the surrounding state economies need those bridges.

Please Add Your Constructive Ideas

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Polygraphs! I'd forgotten that they were once used. Interviewing is not easy. Hope you are doing find now.

    • Tusitala profile image


      8 years ago

      That was a remarkable hub. Yes, freeing, in some senses.

      Very pertenant information.

      I don't suffer with the obstructions now; but in my past, I had to, when it wasn't so obvious to so many....

      I had interviews that, at that time, almost centered upon financial history exclusively. But then I went through that period when polygraphs were in vogue and to refuse was to in essence admit former, hidden crimes..

      which was b.s. also!

      Good Information!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi shesa - I agree that more people need to know what's in it and what it might do about jobs. Thanks for sharing the link.

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 

      8 years ago from new jersey

      Patty, fantastic hub! So many people are against any type of jobs bill because they don't understand the concept. I think more people should read this hub. If it's ok, I'm going to share this link.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thank you for the unpaid political announcement, Jon Ewall. It is information we need to know, analyze and use.

      We do have a lot of jobs opening up in Ohio in regions where there were none before. People will be dancing in the streets. But a passenger train aoorss Ohio would have been nice.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 

      8 years ago from usa

      Patty Inglish, MS

      This past week, President Obama on the campaign trail said that Speaker Boehner and Senator Mc Connell needs to past the jobs bill. The president said that he is fighting for the middle class and that teachers and construction workers need to have jobs.

      Last night 9/22/11, the House passed a CR Bill HR 2698 to fund the government to Nov. 18,2011. Included in the bill was $3.7 million to Fema for emergency funding for states devastated by the hurricane and tornado in Joplin and the east coast. The bill went to the Senate today, the Senate did not vote to pass the bill.

      The Congress, the Republican controlled House ( one half of Congress ) has approved the 2012 BUDGET and 9 job funding bills to put workers back to work. As of today the Senate has only approved 1. When the President says that Congress is the problem, note that he really should be telling the truth, that the Democrat controlled Senate is the problem.

      The shovel ready jobs are in the mid west and the east coast. Mr. President, Barack Obama ,the Senate needs to pass the bill HR 2698 and get to work on the other bills approved by the House.

    • profile image 

      8 years ago from upstate, NY

      Patty- I think that historically speaking, the answer to job growth is fairly simple:-Cut taxes, deregulate and the market will flourish. Government intervention more often than not, creates artificial demand that creates market distortions and can only be sustained through continued government spending.

      - Regards and blessings-WBA

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Patty, for all the detailed research and the very good presentations. This one got me thinking. "The largest sector of Americans does not possess the education and certification required for most of the highest paid jobs advertised during this time period." Could it be that there needs to some adjustment to the list of jobs in the "highest paid" category? Not suggesting that farm workers should on that list, but what is the impact of having them in the "lowest paid" category?

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      Very interesting. I especially think work sharing is a great idea for those looking for meaningful work that is less than full time hours.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great research, as usual! Thanks!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      8 years ago from Jamaica

      I really wish some of these positions were available here in Jamaica. Our politicians are doing nothing to increase employment opportunities, they would rather cut back jobs and sell our resources.

      Thank you for a very informative hub Patty, always a pleasure stopping by.


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