Photo: Mood Board/REX USA.
Five years ago, the economy began a terrifying nosedive. 775,000 jobs were lost in November 2008 alone, kicking off the worst six-month employment drop since the Great Depression. We’ve spent three years brushing off the devastating effects of that nadir, but are we truly out of the woods? According to the Harvard Business Review no one really knows yet — and we may not for years. What we do know is that the U.S. economy gained 203,000 jobs in November and dropped overall nationwide unemployment to seven percent. So, who is hiring and who isn’t?
If you’re looking for a job, your best bet is to head into either education or the home healthcare sector. Both industries have steadily increased their hiring rates since 2008. In fact, 70% of new job growth is in the home healthcare sector. But healthcare workers aren’t exactly bringing home the big bucks: The average hourly wage is only $18.90. Motor vehicle and parts workers earn more at $24.06, but manufacturing isn’t exactly rebounding (though it’s faring a bit better than its rock-bottom phase in 2009). Still, it’s concerning that higher-paying fields are losing ground to lower-paying ones — part of an ongoing trend.
The financial real estate collapse, probably the most famous casualty of the recession, isn’t as apocalyptic in 2013 as you might expect. The crisis of 2008 mainly hit “credit intermediation” (banks and other lenders), who continue to struggle in the aftermath. But real estate has held up better and is actually in a cautious growth mode, while investment-focused Wall Street workers have enjoyed relatively secure employment, even during the crisis. Another relatively secure employment option involves management and tech consulting, which is growing at a faster pace (and paying slightly more) than full-time legal services — though that may soon change.
Those of you hoping to make a splash in media, first consider some sobering, but unsurprising news: This is a sector that really continues to struggle. We may be in the information age, but the information industry isn’t really expanding its work force, the Harvard Business Review reports. After spiking to new summits in 2001 with nearly 1.5 million jobs, the telecommunications industry has been free-falling ever since; under 800,000 jobs in that sector remain, according to Harvard’s info graphic. Then, of course, there’s magazines, newspapers, and other published media. The number of full-time employees in that industry continue to gradually dwindle, as do the earnings. The average newspaper/publishing employee makes about $27.49 hourly. On a more positive note, internet publishing and software publishing are slowly expanding their numbers. It’s not a huge drop in the bucket yet, but it’s encouraging to know that a willingness to evolve the media model still yields more promising financial results than simply hoping the 21st century goes away. (HBR)