Where the Jobs Are – and Aren’t

Sarah Vanderbilt | June 12, 2012, 3:32 p.m.
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The total number of nonfarm jobs in the U.S. is now 5 million less than in January 2008, when employment peaked ahead of the economic crisis. That is because the 3.7 million jobs added to the economy since 2010 have not been nearly enough to offset the 8.7 million jobs lost in 2008 and 2009.

The graphic above breaks down changes in payrolls since 2008 by industry, highlighting the sectors hit the hardest as well as those that have come out ahead.

The big winner during the jobs crisis has been the health and private education sector, which grew steadily throughout the recession and has added a total of 1.7 million jobs since 2008.

The manufacturing sector, which had already been declining for years when the recession began, was the second biggest contributor to job losses since 2008. Construction jobs fared worst, dropping from 7.5 million to 5.5 million jobs, a 26 percent decline.

Other industries saw more mixed results. The broad grouping of professional and businesses services saw an overall decline, but several of its subgroups such as computer systems design and management consulting saw significant growth.

Government jobs declined at the local and state level, but grew moderately at the federal level.

About the Data

The data is from the Current Employment Statistics survey of businesses conducted monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS website allows users to filter payroll data by industry here. All figures used above are seasonally adjusted.