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By Jason Stipp and Robert Johnson, CFA | 03-26-2014 12:00 PM

Quantity Over Quality in the Job Market?

You're not getting the full picture if all you consider is the number of jobs added, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.

Note: While Bob Johnson is on vacation, we are featuring this video interview in place of his April 5 column. Bob's regular column will resume April 12.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar.

We've seen the U.S. employment market largely recover in terms of the number of jobs added, but what about the quality of jobs?

Here to offer his take on this question is Morningstar's Bob Johnson, our director of economic analysis.

Thanks for joining me, Bob.

Bob Johnson: Great to be here today.

Stipp: In terms of number of jobs lost in the recession and number of jobs gained back in the recovery, where are we?

Johnson: In the private sector, we're pretty close to getting all of them back. And on the service side, we even got more than all of them back. We're going to be all the way back certainly within the next six months, any way you might want to cut it. It took a long time--about four and a half years altogether.

Stipp: As far as number of jobs, we're getting back to whole again since 2008, but the makeup of those jobs is different, and in some cases, that's not good news.

Talk about how some of those trends are different now and what kind of jobs we actually are adding.

Johnson: That's one of the really interesting things. We all get carried away looking at the top-line employment number, but really the growth has come in very different ways. We've had a relatively good run in services businesses, but we've added fewer manufacturing jobs, for example, as a percentage growth rate. It's better than it's been in other recoveries, but it's still being dwarfed by what's happening in retail.

Stipp: We're seeing a shift toward services, retail, leisure, and we're growing more slowly in some manufacturing jobs, and there's a big difference there as far as what they pay, and that's something that's important to keep in mind.

You have some data here. Let's start with a manufacturing job. For that segment--these are the major categories in the employment report--what are some of the average data as far as the pay there?

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