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12 04 2015 | by Victor Xing | Economics

What were the main drivers of recent US job growth?

The main driver of U.S. job growth in recent years have been the nation’s booming services industry (with manufacturing job growth showing a net decline).  I built a spreadsheet that aggregates monthly payrolls so they can be used to calculate net payroll gains and losses during a specific period.  The below chart shows corresponding data between Oct-15 and Oct-13

Job growth leaders
Sources: Author’s calculations; Bloomberg L.P. (number in thousands)

Much of the job gains in the above chart were focused on the following sectors:

  1. 766,000 in food services and drinking places (waiter, bartender, cooks, first-line supervisors)
  2. 599,000 in admin and support services (executive assistants, janitors, housekeepers, freight laborer, landscaping and grounds-keeping workers, office clerks, and security guards)
  3. 580,000 in professional, scientific and technical services (accountants and auditors, architectural and civil drafters, lawyers and management analysts)
  4. 492,000 in ambulatory healthcare services (registered nurses, service managers, medical assistants, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses)
  5. 376,000 in specialty trade contractors (carpenters, construction laborers, electricians, first-line supervisors, plumbers)

It is worth noting that temporary office workers are part of the “professional, scientific, and technical services,” and their pay are less than full-time equivalents (therefore this category is somewhat inflated)

All the above are services type jobs.  WSJ released a blog entry this morning (today is the release day of November Payrolls, so all eyes are on employment) to focus on recent employment trends, which offers a great 30,000 ft view

The November Jobs Report in 14 Charts

Job growth - service sector led
Original Quora article

Next article12 03 2015 | by Victor Xing | Central Banks

Federal Reserve’s policy tools and their efficacy