Where the jobs are

Date posted: May 10, 2012

There’s been some recent optimism about the job market. Employment at both the national and state levels has been trending upward. N.C. State University economist Mike Walden takes a look at the specific industries creating these jobs.

“Jobs are not being created at the same pace across the economic spectrum. The biggest strong gains — the strongest job gains to date since the job market bottomed out in early 2010 – (have) been in professional and business service jobs — essentially that means business jobs, both in terms of folks who work there in professional capacities as well as the administrative support. So that’s seen the strongest job gains.

“That’s been followed by very good job gains in the leisure and hospitality sector. That makes sense, because as the economy has come back, people are eating out more and they’re taking more vacations. So, we’ve seen a good rate of growth in that sector.

“The most consistent job gains continue to be in health care. That’s a growing sector, a very labor intensive (sector). We saw that sector even add jobs during the recession.

“We’ve had modest improvements in manufacturing jobs, but you have to have the right skills, and we’ve had slight, very slight gains in construction — not the kind of gains we typically see in economic recovery.

“Government, in total, interestingly, has actually been cutting jobs over the last two years.”

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