Generally speaking, jobs have grown more in Wisconsin in higher-paying occupations than in lower-paying ones since 2008. In fact, employment in the 11 highest-paying occupational groups—which each pay median wages of at least $42,000 annually—has grown by a combined 114,870 statewide during that time. Meanwhile, employment in the 11 lowest-paying occupational groups paying median wages of less than $42,000 has declined by a combined 42,990.
Four of the five occupational groups that have added the most jobs pay median annual wages of at least $60,000 per year: business and financial operations, computer and mathematical, healthcare practitioners and technical, and management. (See Figure 1 and our interactive charts.) These occupations also typically require higher levels of education and training than many of the occupations in decline.
One notable exception to this trend was personal care and service occupations, which have shown the most growth overall and which pay relatively low wages. Personal care and service occupations include personal care aides, barbers/hairstylists, and child care workers. Employment in that group grew by both the largest number (42,240) and percentage (56.2%) statewide during the 10-year period. At $23,870, personal care and service occupations paid the second-lowest median wage of the 22 groups in 2018 behind only food preparation and serving jobs.