Saturday, September 8, 2012

Job Gain/Loss by Sector, August 2012

Let’s review the employment changes in August by sector. Haven’t done that for a while. For the latest tabulation on this blog, shown for May, follow this link.

The pattern here is quite interesting. In the basic industries producing physical products (Mining/Logging, Construction, and Manufacturing) losses outweigh gains. Manufacturing, which showed a 12,000 job gain in July, gave it all back; Mining gave up jobs; Construction showed some life.

The distribution sectors (Wholesale, Retail, Transportation/ Warehousing) made modest additions to employment. The big gains have come in the services sectors. Not surprisingly, perhaps, Leisure and Hospitality lead the gains—suggesting that people are still going on vacation. The only services sector showing a loss of 4,000 jobs was Other Services. I got curious about that and looked at the details behind that loss. Here is a tabulation. It turns out that the 4,000 loss was actually rounded up from a loss of 3,500:

Other Services Defined (values in 1,000s)
Repair & Maintenance
Personal & Laundry
Membership Organizations
  Total Other Services

The big loss again came in the physical category, Repair and Maintenance. Too bad. That’s an industry that should always be growing.

Government has been loosing jobs as far back as we can see. Once more it lost jobs. But since the loss June to July was 21,000, this month’s loss is a little less alarming.


  1. I don't like the downward blip on manufacturing, but overall the trends are still encouraging, though not enough.

    A side note: I was watching the Sunday punditry shows and Sen. Rand Paul kept asserting that the number of government employees was way up under Obama. Apparently he hasn't read an actual statistic in the last four years. I find it interesting how this year's election has slowly but inevitably devolved into a competition between a fictional narrative and actual facts. Usually the Dems are on the losing side of that debate, despite the well-known liberal bias of facts. This year feels a little different, though, and if reality scores a rare triumph, I have a feeling we'll look back at that convention speech by Clinton as the moment fact-based politics gained the upper hand in 2012.

  2. The media are evidently getting used to reporting on squabbles rather than offering independent, third-party information as a corrective. The madhouse out there is the result.