I’ve often discussed how the three industries that I refer to as the
“housing bubble beneficiary sectors” took the brunt of the
recessionary job losses. In this post, I have updated some
graphs showing the enormous degree to which this is the case.
The bubble beneficiary sectors, so named because they grew like
weeds as a result of the housing boom, are: construction, finance
(which includes real estate transactions), and retail (not directly
related to housing like the other two, but a bubble beneficiary
nonetheless as a result of vigorous home equity-financed consumer
spending). In the graphs below, I have grouped these three
sectors together as the “Housing Bubble Sectors” and charted the
change in their size alongside that of the non-bubble private sector
industries and government.
I took these graphs all the way back to the beginning of 2007
because the bubble sectors started to deflate alongside the housing
bubble even before the recession officially began in December of
that year. In order to avoid seasonality problems, I started
and ended the graphs on the same month (January 2007 through January
This first graph shows the number of jobs lost in each of these
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April 3, 2012 @ 12:03 PM
Rich, I wonder if the number
Rich, I wonder if the number is actually worse than the near 20% drop. Afterall, realtors are typically self-employed. A realtor with a single sale in a year is still technically generating income and thus not unemployed, right? Same goes with contractors and sub-contractors. Any way to look into the severity of underemployment of the realtor/contractor fields?
April 3, 2012 @ 4:30 PM
Hi ocr — Well, this is the
Hi ocr — Well, this is the “establishment” survey of employers, so self-employed people don’t actually show up in this one. That said, behind the scenes what you are describing could certainly have been happening, especially among realtors (since I suspect they are more likely to be self-employed than most industries are).