Jobs by Sector Tell a Bleaker Story
March 5, 2010 - 11:16am ET
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The Department of Labor’s employment data released this morning indicates that we are continuing to lose jobs, 36,000 in February alone, although at a much slower pace than this time last year. The danger now is that with the leveling off of unemployment, policymakers and those in Congress will fixate on month-to-month job numbers rather than taking a holistic look at the entire health of the job market.
When looking at the numbers more closely by sector, the picture remains anemic, particularly for the construction and manufacturing industries.
Of the roughly 4.8 million jobs lost since January 2009, the construction and manufacturing sectors combined have shouldered half of all job losses. On the other hand, the retail and leisure/hospitality industries represent about 15 percent of total job losses.
Attention now has turned to the House passage of a $15 billion jobs bill yesterday. Unfortunately, this legislation is woefully inadequate to meet the magnitude of jobs that must be created across any sector, let alone to plug the entire gap of 8.5 million total job losses since the recession began in 2008. This is why a larger jobs bill is needed, and why the U.S. should take on measures such as Germany’s short-time working program that has successfully saved over one million jobs in the country.
These policies are not just good for the here and now though, they set a good foundation so our industries keep valuable, skilled workers as we look to rebuild our economy with greater investment and a strong industrial policy.
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