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Press Release

New Interactive Tool by the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland and Philadelphia Helps Workers Chart Pathways from Lower-Wage to Higher-Paying Jobs

The Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland and Philadelphia launched an interactive online tool to help workers without a bachelor’s degree transition to occupations that require similar skill sets and provide a meaningful increase in pay. The Occupational Mobility Explorer is a resource for workers to identify pathways from a lower-paying occupation to a similar, higher-paying occupation in the same labor market.

By using the tool, for example, a maintenance worker in Cleveland will find that they possess many of the skills needed to become a bus and truck mechanic, an HVAC installer, or a medical equipment repairer, all of which pay at least 22 percent more, on average. A bill and account collector in Philadelphia will find that they already possess many of the skills necessary to become a credit counselor, a job that pays about 45 percent more, on average.

“COVID-19 has created high unemployment across the United States and has had devastating effects on lower-wage workers, especially workers of color,” said Kyle Fee, senior policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. “The Occupational Mobility Explorer can help workers transition not only into different jobs but also into jobs offering a brighter future and bigger paycheck.”

The Explorer can also be used by workforce development practitioners, community colleges, and employers to help inform their reskilling programs and employee recruitment and hiring practices as millions of workers seek to reenter the job market during the pandemic.

The tool incorporates data from a report by the Cleveland and Philadelphia Feds that finds 49 percent of lower-wage employment across the nation’s largest 33 labor markets can be paired with at least one higher-paying occupation requiring similar skills. The nearly 4,100 transitions connecting the most similar occupations would represent an average increase in wages of about $15,000 (or 49 percent).

Visit the Occupational Mobility Explorer for more information.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Doug Campbell,, 513.455.4479