Several things jump out at me in studying the Wall Street Journal’s excellent graphic on job losses since the beginning of the current recession:
- The auto industry, before the recession began, accounted for just 0.7% of the national economy and has dipped to 0.5%. On a percentage basis that’s huge — nearly 29%.
- Next in line for big job losses, construction, accounts for a much bigger swathe of the economy, currently 4.7% vs 5.2% at the start of the recession, a 13% drop.
- Education, health, and to a lesser degree, government, picked up jobs during the recession. In his blog, the NYTimes’ Floyd Norris notes that for the first time in a decade, the private sector has failed to grow.
- Mining and logging industries were expanding for most of the recession, but are losing jobs now, something to keep an eye on. Demand for commodities is an important sign for a real recovery.