On the surface, California's job market is booming.
The state has now recovered all the jobs lost during the recession, and done so at a faster pace than all but five states.
The growth, though, belies a troubling imbalance. The fastest job creation has come in low-wage sectors, in which pay has declined. At the high end of the salary scale, a different dynamic has taken hold: rising pay and improving employment after rounds of consolidation.
Most distressing, middle-wage workers are losing out on both counts.
"People talk about it like an hourglass," said Tracey Grose, vice president of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. "There are fewer...