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Press Release

Does Job Quality Affect Occupational Mobility?

This new report by Cleveland Fed researcher Kyle Fee examines how job quality affects workers’ occupational mobility and investigates if the COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes to that mobility, especially among those in the lowest-quality jobs.

Among Fee’s findings:

  • Those in the lowest-quality occupations tend to be less attached to employment and the labor market, a situation which suggests that employers might consider improving job quality in response to hiring and retention challenges.
  • These are not new developments related to the pandemic but rather ongoing labor market trends.
  • Taking job quality into consideration reveals that even when the unemployment rate is low, workers in the lowest-quality occupations can face bleak labor market prospects.
  • There is evidence that some industry sectors, such as retail sales, healthcare, and social services, and accommodation and food services, limit a worker’s ability to move into a higher-quality job.

Read more: Does Job Quality Affect Occupational Mobility?

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