For immediate release

Contact: Joey Lee, Media Relations Representative, 215-574-3840

Philadelphia, PA — The Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Cleveland launched an interactive online tool to help workers without a bachelor’s degree transition to occupations that require similar skill sets and provide a meaningful increase in pay. The Occupational Mobility Explorer is a resource for workers to identify pathways from a lower-paying occupation to a similar, higher-paying occupation in the same labor market.

By using the tool, for example, a bill and account collector in Philadelphia will find that they already possess many of the skills necessary to become a credit counselor, a job that pays about 45 percent more, on average. A maintenance worker in Cleveland will find that they possess many of the skills needed to become a bus and truck mechanic, an HVAC installer, or a medical equipment repairer, all of which pay at least 22 percent more, on average.

“COVID-19 has created high unemployment across the United States and has had devastating effects on lower-wage workers, especially workers of color,” said Keith Wardrip, community development research manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. “The Occupational Mobility Explorer can help workers transition not only into different jobs but also into jobs offering a brighter future and bigger paycheck.”

The Explorer can also be used by workforce development practitioners, community colleges, and employers to help inform their reskilling programs and employee recruitment and hiring practices as millions of workers seek to reenter the job market during the pandemic.

The tool incorporates data from a report by the Philadelphia and Cleveland Feds that finds 49 percent of lower-wage employment across the nation’s largest 33 labor markets can be paired with at least one higher-paying occupation requiring similar skills. The nearly 4,100 transitions connecting the most similar occupations would represent an average increase in wages of about $15,000 (or 49 percent).

For more information about the Occupational Mobility Explorer, please visit

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia helps formulate and implement monetary policy, supervises state member banks, bank holding companies, and savings and loan holding companies, and provides financial services to depository institutions and the federal government. It is one of the 12 regional Reserve Banks that, together with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia serves eastern and central Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware.