Nearly 60% of American adults polled by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal think America is still in a recession. This after the recession technically ended nearly five years ago.
Josh Barro of the New York Times argues that a slack labor market and declining wages are the primary reasons why a large segment of people think the economy is in worse shape than it really is. Average earnings per job, as we wrote about recently, have only increased in seven of the 100 most populous metropolitan areas since 2010, while the number of jobs has grown in all of them.
This is the story of the recovery: employment stubbornly creeping up (at least in most counties; see the 2010-2013 map above), wages declining or hovering where they were.
Not every industry has followed this path, though. Wages in the information sector, for instance, have nudged up while jobs have become more sparse. And then there are those industries in which jobs have yet to recover after hemorrhaging workers during the recession.
At the top of the still-battered list are state and local government, clothing stores, and finance industries such as securities brokers and banking institutions.
In this post, we’ll walk through industries that haven’t been able to shake the recession’s grip, and the counties that have yet to recover, either. We’ll also look at industries that are recovering nicely.
Industries Still on the Downswing
Among industries that gained jobs before the recession (2004-2007) and shed jobs during the recession (2008-2009), state government has continued to slide the most in the aftermath of the downturn. But it’s shadowed closely by local government. State government jobs declined 4% from 2010 to 2013 — a loss of more than 100,000 jobs nationally. Local government, meanwhile, has dropped nearly 80,000 jobs (a 1% drop in total employment).
Both state and local government actually fared OK during the first part of the recession, only to see rapid losses from 2010 to 2012. This is partly due to the the stimulus package that helped float government budgets temporarily.
Overall, the public sector lost 600,000 of its more than 21 million jobs from 2010 to 2013 (a 3% decrease). The private sector, meanwhile, gained nearly 6.5 million jobs (a 6% increase).
Other industries that continue to dip post-recession are primarily finance-related or those that need less labor because of technological advancements (depository credit intermediation, which includes commercial banking, savings institutions, credit unions, etc.). Clothing stores have also seen a slight decline (after increasing 19% from 2001 to 2007), perhaps in part because there are fewer specialty clothing shops.
The biggest percentage drops from 2010 to 2013 have come in two relatively small industries: central bank monetary authorities (-18%) and land subdivision (-15%). Both have fewer than 50,000 jobs in the U.S. Land subdivision is tied to the downturn in construction.
An important point: we did not include industries that were tanking before the recession (most notably, printing activities and newspaper/periodical publishers) because we wanted to isolate the industries most affected by the downturn, not other factors that were present before it.
|NAICS||Description||2013 Jobs||2008-2009 Change||2008-2009 % Change||2010-2013 Change||2010-2013 % Change||2013 Total Earnings|
|Source: EMSI 2014.1 Class of Worker (QCEW Employees)|
|9029||State Government, Excluding Education and Hospitals||2,277,080||-12,418||-1%||-101,279||-4%||$75,197|
|9039||Local Government, Excluding Education and Hospitals||5,511,873||-21,823||0%||-79,266||-1%||$69,709|
|5231||Securities and Commodity Contracts Intermediation and Brokerage||445,037||-40,074||-8%||-13,031||-3%||$239,515|
|3345||Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing||395,619||-25,042||-6%||-11,745||-3%||$108,918|
|5172||Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite)||162,189||-7,832||-4%||-9,851||-6%||$89,776|
|5221||Depository Credit Intermediation||1,713,321||-64,818||-4%||-8,679||-1%||$73,523|
|5612||Facilities Support Services||128,275||-3,152||-2%||-7,425||-5%||$60,625|
|3254||Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing||274,834||-5,855||-2%||-3,958||-1%||$147,372|
|5211||Monetary Authorities-Central Bank||16,986||-835||-4%||-3,749||-18%||$113,100|
|4812||Nonscheduled Air Transportation||38,275||-3,004||-7%||-2,515||-6%||$99,644|
|5331||Lessors of Nonfinancial Intangible Assets (except Copyrighted Works)||22,969||-1,404||-5%||-2,338||-9%||$104,589|
Industries That Have Recovered
Twenty-five mid-level industries (4-digit NAICS) lost at least 40,000 jobs from 2008 to 2009. The worst, by total job loss, was employment services, an industry category primarily composed of temporary workers. During the recession, this industry shed 631,000 jobs, a 20% fall. And 10 other industries, most construction-related, lost close to or more than 100,000 jobs.
But here’s the kicker: only two of the 25 industries most hurt by the recession have continued to decline during the recovery. And those two, clothing stores and depository credit intermediation, have seen only small rates of decline (-1% each).
Meanwhile, the employment services industry — fueled by the temp surge — has gained all its losses back, and some. And five of the other biggest recession decliners have also added more jobs during the recovery than they lost during the downturn.
Full-service and fast food restaurants have also added three to four more times the jobs than they lost during the recession, and machine shops is one of several manufacturing sub-sectors that has bounced back.
Counties on the Mend, and Those That Are Still Struggling
The map at the top of the post showed a mixed bag of 2010-2013 employment gains and losses for counties across the U.S. But the truth is, the counties that are adding jobs are doing so at a faster clip than the counties that are shedding jobs. Only 44 counties have lost more than 1,000 jobs since 2010 (see the full list in the table below), and none has lost more than 3,000.
Dutchess County, N.Y., whose seat is Poughkeepsie, dropped the most jobs from 2010 to 2013, going from just 110,000 jobs to 107,000 jobs. Hinds and Jackson counties in Mississippi also lost close to 2,500 jobs. These three counties also had sizable declines during the recession.
The worst-performing counties from 2010 to 2013 on a percentage basis: Hamilton County, Iowa (-16%); Butte County, Idaho (-14%); Falls Church City, Va. (-14%); Obion County, Tenn. (-13%); and Austin County, Texas (-12%).
|2013 Jobs||2008-2009 Change||2008-2009 % Change||2010-2013 Change||2010-2013 % Change||2013 Average Earnings Per Job|
|Source: EMSI 2014.1 Class of Worker (QCEW Employees)|
|Falls Church City, VA||10,691||-119||-1%||-1,704||-14%||$75,910|
|Los Alamos, NM||15,770||-231||-1%||-1,320||-8%||$88,690|
|Rio Arriba, NM||9,289||-533||-5%||-1,257||-12%||$41,958|
|Van Buren, MI||20,751||-1,321||-6%||-1,094||-5%||$47,593|
Focusing just on counties that lost at least 5,000 jobs from 2008 to 2009 and have continued to drop jobs post-recession, the list is much smaller. Tulare County, Calif., leads the list of nine counties with a decline of 1,700 jobs from 2010 to 2013, followed by Mobile and Montgomery counties in Alabama.
The three counties that performed the worst during the recession and lost jobs from 2010 to 2013 — Bernalillo County, N.M., Bucks County, Pa., and Camden County, N.J. — only saw minimal losses post-recession.
Data and analysis for this post comes EMSI, which offers the most comprehensive, current, and granular labor market data available. To explore this data for your region, email Josh Wright. Follow us on Twitter @DesktopEcon.