The Middle Skill Opportunity

Demand for middle skill jobs, which require education beyond high school but not a four-year degree, is strong and growing. Efforts to expand the middle skill talent supply will provide the critical education and career advancement opportunities for low-income and unemployed residents.

2015
42,000
2016
84,000
2017
126,000
2018
168,000

42,000

MIDDLE-SKILL OPENINGS PROJECTED EACH YEAR

$24.47

MEDIAN HOURLY WAGE OF MIDDLE-SKILL JOBS 35% HiGHER THAN THE REGION’S LIVING WAGE OF $18.08

THE OPPORTUNITY GAP

Growing industries in the Dallas area are unable to find enough sufficiently trained workers to fill these open jobs. Unfortunately, too many DFW residents lack the basic academic and job readiness skills needed to apply for middle skill jobs. These challenges tend to disproportionately affect African American and Hispanic residents, who represent a large and growing pool of potential middle skill workers.

DALLAS POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT RATES

40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%
Hispanic or Latino
31%
8%
Black or African American
32%
15%
Non-Hispanic White
10%
6%
Overall
19%
9%
Poverty Unemployment

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT IN DALLAS

BA or higher
11%
24%
33%
Associate’s degree
4%
8%
6%
Some college, no degree
15%
29%
23%
HS diploma or GED
25%
28%
22%
Less than HS
44%
11%
15%
Hispanic Black White
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50%

(Source: American Community Survey 2011-13)