Job Creation and Destruction in Service Industries
Given the continued lousy state of the labor market, I wanted to know which industries are growing (in terms of numbers of workers) and which are shrinking. Here are the results for the past year, using the newest BLS figures (employment figures are in thousands of workers):
My reading of these figures is that they illustrate that the weak labor market is indeed explained by the combination of technologically-based productivity improvements with weak demand. Industries with slow job growth (or job losses) seem to be those that have been intensively adopting lots of labor-saving IT in recent years, such as wholesale and retail trade, transportation, and telecoms.
For obvious reasons, education and health has seen the least replacement of labor with IT, and so seeing lots of job growth in those industries is not surprising. Somewhat less obviously (at least to me), professional and business services (this category includes things like legal, engineering, administrative, advertising, management, consulting, IT and accounting services for businesses) has also been adding jobs at a rapid rate. I guess the workers in those industries also tend to be difficult to replace with IT. Especially when wearing lime helmets.