Academic Literature

US – Hours worked for the three underperforming sectors—manufacturing, construction, and information—remain well below their pre-Great Recession levels

The three charts show hours worked for the largest sectors in the economy, grouped by performance relative to pre-Great Recession levels. These data provide insight into current sources of slack in the labor market. The Great Recession took a severe toll on total hours worked across all of these sectors. Excluding the education and health services sector, the decline has been much larger than in previous recessions. And while all of the sectors except education and health services experienced declines, the recovery has been relatively uneven across sectors. Three sectors have not bounced back, but all of the others have either completely recovered or actually surpassed their pre-recession levels.

Capture d’écran 2014-06-17 à 13.39.42 Capture d’écran 2014-06-17 à 13.39.54 Capture d’écran 2014-06-17 à 13.40.02

Hours worked for the three underperforming sectors—manufacturing, construction, and information—remain well below their pre-Great Recession levels. The decline in the manufacturing sector is particularly significant because the sector represents around 20 percent of gross output.1 The decline in the information sector is substantially less relevant to the overall economy because the sector represents only about 5 percent of gross output and less than 2 percent of aggregate hours. However, for both sectors, the Great Recession is only one episode in a secular downward trend that began around the turn of the century. From the first quarter of 2000 to the fourth quarter of 2007, aggregate hours worked dropped around 20 percent for each sector. The drop in the construction sector is more directly attributable to the recession. Unlike the manufacturing and information sectors, the construction sector, which represents about 5 percent of aggregate hours, had experienced a long upward trend prior to the Great Recession. During the recession, hours worked in construction fell far below trend and have not yet recovered, whereas hours worked in manufacturing and information have nearly recovered to their pre-recession downward-trend levels.

Despite the underperforming sectors, total hours worked for all sectors have nearly recovered to pre-Great Recession levels. Growth in other sectors has offset much of the decline. If there is some slack in the labor market, it is likely attributable to the performance of the construction sector and related activities.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Economic Synopses – Research Publications – St. Louis Fed.

Related posts

US – The Job Gap is still near 7.0 million

Furthermore, it is an utterly meaningless benchmark economically. Because the working-age population and with it, the potential labor force is growing all the time, we should have added millions of jobs over the last six-plus years just to hold steady. That means that when we get back to the prerecession employment level, there will still be a … Continue reading 

The Job Gap in US – Lack of jobs is still a very big problem

In the next few months, the labor market will pass a milestone in its recovery from the Great Recession: Total payroll employment (private plus government) will finally top its pre-recession level . But before breaking out the champagne, let’s remember that the previous peak was more than six years ago in December 2007; with population … Continue reading 

The Job Gap in US – How many more jobs are needed ?

One of the big questions concerning the U.S. jobs market is how many jobs need to be created to reach full employment? Without knowing that, it’s hard to determine when the nation’s economy will have finally recovered. Figuring out that number is complicated by several uncertainties, including just how many people need jobs and how … Continue reading 

US Jobs Gap in March 2014 – 7.4 million jobs says the Hamilton Project

As of the end of March 2014, our nation faces a jobs gap of 7.4 million jobs. This chart shows how the jobs gap has evolved since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, and how long it will take to close under different assumptions for job growth. If the economy adds about … Continue reading 

Middle-Skill Jobs in US – Lobs lost in the last recession have not returned says New York Fed Pres.

Millions of U.S. teaching, construction and other middle-skill jobs lost in the last recession have not returned, exacerbating the already high unemployment that has been a drag on the U.S. recovery, New York Federal Reserve officials said on Wednesday.  These middle-skill jobs, which pay roughly $25,000 to $50,000 annually, suffered the heaviest losses in the … Continue reading 


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Jobs – Offres d’emploi – US & Canada (Eng. & Fr.)

The Most Popular Job Search Tools

Even More Objectives Statements to customize

Cover Letters – Tools, Tips and Free Cover Letter Templates for Microsoft Office

Follow Job Market Monitor on

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow Job Market Monitor via Twitter



%d bloggers like this: