As someone who works with entrepreneurs for a living, I'm always very proud of the role business owners play in supporting the economy. Among the many by-products of their efforts is job creation. But a friend recently asked me a question about those jobs and I didn't have a fingertip-ready answer. I thought you, the Inc. audience, could help me crowdsource the answer. 

The question was: What is a good job? 

To jumpstart the conversation, I've posted some links to thoughts on this topic that I think are relevant to the question. 

From today's Washington PostCan college, career prep combine?

QUOTE: “The misconception is that anything that has ‘career’ attached to it is second-class” --Drew Deutsch, regional director for the IB program in North America.

From today's Wall Street Journal: Recipe for Middle-Class Jobs

QUOTE: "Praxis Strategy Group, an economic development consultancy, estimates Austin (TX) added 50,000 'middle-skill' positions in the past decade. These are jobs that require a two-year associate's degree or the equivalent work experience, and pay a median wage of $17.30 an hour or $38,000 a year."  

From Sunday's New York TimesThe Fire Bell of Unemployment

QUOTE: "Edmund S. Phelps, the Nobel laureate economist from Columbia University, had an interesting idea for spurring hiring. As he has updated that proposal, the government should provide a subsidy of $4.50 an hour for the lowest-paid workers, with declining amounts until they earn more than $15 an hour. 

I post these article links because they all attempt to describe good employment (or as one article describes as "middle-skill" work) and acknowledge or suggest that minimum wage employment does not qualify as a good job. This was how I got tripped up while responding to my friend's question the other day. When she asked me about job creation, I responded that minimum wage assured a bottom and that was a good starting point. She responded that minimum wage was not a living wage. I agree with her and realized at that moment that I hadn't thought enough about what "good job" creation is.  Have you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter...



Nov 29, 2011