State of the Labor Market

Jobs Day Preview: With Job Growth Slowing Down, Where Are the Bright Spots?


Even in slower job growth environment, education and health services trucks on.

With government stimulus fading and the economy facing headwinds from the trade war, job growth is slowing down. Compared to the first six months of 2018, average job growth is lower in 2019 by 63,000 jobs. Most of that has been concentrated in the goods sector: job growth in the three industries that make up the goods sector (mining & logging, construction, and manufacturing) account for almost 60% of the slowdown despite being only 14% of the jobs. 

But average growth in education and health services is a bright spot: it is 9,000 jobs higher than it was over the same period last year — an increase of 20%. Education and health services has been a steady source of growth throughout the recession and recovery. The growth in this industry is entirely about increased hiring in health care, which is up by almost 35%. The educational services and social assistance industries have seen their growth largely hold steady. 

But overall, growth in goods-producing industries is falling quickly, while in private service-providing industries it is not slowing as dramatically. That is consistent with job growth slowing down as the impact of stimulus fades and the trade war hits. It is not surprising that education and health services trucks on even in a slower growth environment: this sector did not have a single month of negative growth during the recession. In general, it is a steady source of job growth. 

Job growth is slowing down. But some industries will always keep pushing forward even in a slower growth environment — particularly health care.

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