As a follow-up to the prior post (“Job Dissection“), I wanted to zoom in on the past year and have a look at how the various industries have fared more recently. The results are found in the accompanying chart.

Construction is up 3 percent from last year. This makes sense – as housing demand erodes, developers are scrambling to finish their construction projects sooner rather than later.

Finance and real estate is pretty much flat. This is actually somewhat surprising, as the dropoff in home sales and refinancings must be hurting the sector. I suspect that the pain is taking the form of reduced income rather than outright attrition.

Retail is up 1 percent. People are still spending, even if the sector isn’t growing as fast as it did in the heyday of the housing boom.

And happily, job growth outside of the housing-dependent sectors looks to be making a small comeback. Employment in the “everything else” category increased by 1.5 percent – not exactly earthshaking, but an encouraging move towards a healthier and more sustainable job composition. (Incidentally, don’t fret about that June-to-July drop. It happens every year).

RICH TOSCANO

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