Where are those 'recovering economy' jobs hiding? Some jobs have recovered faster than others

Published: Friday, July 12 2013 11:34 a.m. MDT

Pedestrians walk on Main Street in downtown Salt Lake City Tuesday, May 7, 2013.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The recession was a job killer. It began 5 1/2 years ago and the economy started recovering about four years ago. The darkness or brightness of the employment numbers depends on which type of jobs you look at, according to an article and infographic at NPR.

At the bottom of the chart are manufacturing and construction jobs. "Manufacturing lost 2 million jobs during the recession," NPR's Jacob Goldstein says. Some have come back, but "many of the jobs that disappeared during the recession are probably gone forever."

It isn't surprising construction is still in pain, seeing as it followed the real estate bubble. Even though construction is up, there are still almost a million fewer construction jobs than 10 years ago, Goldstein says.

Floating at the top of the employment graph is health care. "The sector has added 1.5 million jobs since the start of the recession," Goldstein says, "and average earnings of over $26 an hour are solid."

Leisure and hospitality sectors are full of jobs, although low-paying jobs. Mining and logging do well, but they are tiny job markets. Professional and technical services are doing well also. (Those are tech firms, lawyers, architects and so forth.)

Still below the job levels of 2007 are retail trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and media and telecom.

Goldstein didn't look at how government jobs are doing because the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't collect earnings data for government jobs. But if you jump back to a blog post by Ezra Klein at The Washington Post from June 2012, you learn that in most recessions government jobs hold firm — or even grow.

This was the case in the 1981, 1990 and 2001 recessions. Not so in the 2008 recession.

"Government employment tends to rise during recessions," Klein wrote, "helping to cushion their impact. But with the exception of a spike when we hired temporary workers for the decennial census, it's fallen sharply during this recession."

Dividing the jobs recovery by sectors is one way to look at the numbers. Another way is by gender. According to The New York Times, all the jobs lost by women during the recession have been recovered in the private sector. Men are not doing that well: "The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that women held 54,623,000 private sector jobs in June, an increase of 116,000 from the previous month and 63,000 more than they held in December 2007, when the previous high was set. The gap between records — 65 months — was the longest such period since the government began keeping track of the gender of job holders in 1964."

EMAIL: mdegroote@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @degroote

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