Research and analysis

Labour market change and the future of middle-ranking jobs

Study on 'hollowing out', the relative decrease in mid-level jobs in the labour market. BIS research paper number 134.


Hollowing out and the future of the labour market


There is widespread evidence of ‘hollowing out’ or ‘job-polarisation’, a decrease in the proportion of mid-ranking jobs in the labour market. Over time, high-ranked and low-ranked jobs have expanded relative to mid-level jobs (eg in administration and production).

The change is consistent across different time periods and countries. Despite this, the report warns against interpreting these results simplistically. It finds:

  • there will still be jobs available for those with intermediate-level qualifications
  • education and training will play a vital role in helping individuals when their jobs are threatened by technological change
Published 17 October 2013