“Workers left behind” — that’s how The New York Times frames an excellent piece today in its New Poor series on the toll taken by the recession. As Catherine Rampell puts it, there are many jobs that were lost and will never return.
She offers a few examples of occupations decimated during the heart of the recession — certain clerical workers, travel agents, printing machine operators, etc.
Millions of workers who have already been unemployed for months, if not years, will most likely remain that way even as the overall job market continues to improve, economists say. The occupations they worked in, and the skills they currently possess, are never coming back in style. And the demand for new types of skills moves a lot more quickly than workers — especially older and less mobile workers — are able to retrain and gain those skills.
After reading Rampell’s article, we did a bit of research with Analyst to see which occupations took the biggest hit from 2007-2009 — when the recession was really raging — and which counties around the U.S. saw the worst of it.
To start, here are the occupations that declined most in the U.S. from ’07-09 according to EMSI’s latest dataset. It’s not a surprise to see most of these occupations in the top 10, but the sheer number of jobs lost is still staggering.
Mapping the Most-Impacted Occupations
We took the same group occupations and mapped them with our GIS tool to show the counties that lost the most jobs during our selected time period. The densely populated metro areas like Phoenix, Chicago, and Los Angeles figure prominently, as you might imagine. (Also notice the growth in the Great Plains, particularly North and South Dakota).
Percentage Growth Loss
Even more interesting is the next map and table showing the counties with the highest percentage loss. Although some of the counties highlighted in the below list had very few jobs in the 10 selected occupations, several had a high concentration of these workers in 2007 (e.g., Clinton County, Ohio, and Lagrange, Indiana).
The general trend: growth, if there was any from ’07-09, was mostly tepid while job loss is evident almost everywhere.
If you’re interested in these data for your county or region, reach Josh Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208.883.3500.