Where will all the new jobs come from?

Consider this: Despite a rising population, non-farm payrolls in the United States are lower than they were a decade ago.


The unemployment challenge is not just cyclical, it is secular. Sectors of the economy with a challenge include (click on images to enlarge):

  • Financial services (zero growth in 10 years)


  • Construction (-1.2 million jobs in 10 years, a decline of 18%)


  • Real estate (lower than ten years ago, having peaked in 2006)


  • State government (up 9% in ten years, but down 0.5% from Aug 2008 peak and still declining)


  • Local government (up 10% in 10 years, but down 1% from Sep 2008 peak and still declining)


  • Automobile retailing (way down in ten years, having peaked in 2005)


  • Automobile manufacturing (catastrophe. Down 36% in ten years.)


  • Retailing (this is grim too)


Over the near-term at least, none of these sectors of the economy is likely to power the next upturn in employment. So, when I say that this is looking like a structural issue (see here and here), you can see what I mean. I know these numbers are all backward looking.  But, I don’t see any of these sectors jumping off the table right now as a job growth engine.

Where will all the new jobs come from?  If you say healthcare, I’m with you.


And the data also point to the federal government as well.


Any other thoughts?


Seasonally Adjusted Non-Farm Payrolls, Historical Data – Department of Labor


Edward Harrison is the founder of Credit Writedowns and a former career diplomat, investment banker and technology executive with over twenty years of business experience. He is also a regular economic and financial commentator on BBC World News, CNBC Television, Business News Network, CBC, Fox Television and RT Television. He speaks six languages and reads another five, skills he uses to provide a more global perspective. Edward holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Edward also writes a premium financial newsletter. Sign up here for a free trial.