Dipping into the archive, Feroli explained that 1980 to 2005 was a "golden age" for U.S. labor quality. Baby boomers were better-educated than their parents, more experienced after living through the 1960s and 1970s, and caused a "remarkable growth" in the average skillset of the American worker.
However, that trend is now over, according to JPMorgan, with a loose labor market meaning jobs will go to "marginal participants" as the more experienced baby boomers reach retirement.
"There are good reasons to think the recent subdued growth in labor quality is likely to persist. An encouraging pop up in college enrollment (following the 2008 financial crash) soon fizzled out as the labor market improved," Feroli said.
The bank expects the contribution of "labor quality" to average less than 0.1 percentage point over the next three years, compared to 1 to 3 percentage points during the "golden age."
The research is likely to compound concerns of a downturn. Last week, Goldman Sachs analysts stated there's currently a 15-20 percent chance of a U.S. recession being around the corner. JPMorgan's preferred macroeconomic indicator is currently pointing to a 32 percent chance of a recession within the next 12 month. And Citigroup this week warned of escalating risks for a global recession.