This month’s employment estimates show a deterioration in the retail sector but a slight improvement in the construction sector. Other than that the region’s job growth, or lack thereof, has been on a path similar to recent months. So I will simply note that overall employment fell by 5,700 jobs or .4 percent from last year and then move on to the graphs.

The first graph is the usual one displaying the number of jobs gained or lost by the housing beneficiary sectors (construction, finance/real estate, and retail), the rest of the economy, and all sectors combined on a year-over-year basis. Each month’s data point represents the year-over-year change for that month (I use this technique to smooth out seasonal effects).

This next graph is the same as the first except that it displays the percent change to the size of each sector rather than the number of jobs gained or lost.

The third graph shows how the three housing beneficiary sectors (in red, dark blue, and light blue) have offset growth in the rest of the economy (in green).

In short, the non-housing portion of the economy continues to grow — but not as much as it used to, lately, and no longer as much as is necessary to offset the decline that originated with the housing bust.

— RICH TOSCANO

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