there’s health care and then there’s the rest of the economy….revisited

A few days ago I posted about how growth in health care employment has helped mitigate the damages of the Great Recession. In this post I provide a bit more detail. In the following chart I show private sector employment changes for major industries in Colorado, averaged over December-February 2007-08 and 2011-12. The early period represents the start of the recession. The data is from Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment.

Colorado job change DJF 07-08-DJF 11-12 (source CDLE)

The Great Recession was especially nefarious because it touched so many sectors. Construction was hardest hit, having lost nearly 49,000 jobs. But job losses were pervasive across the state, with substantial losses in industries ranging from Manufacturing (-16,833) to Professional and Business Services (-5,400).

The diversity is rooted in the fact that the Great Recession was based on a shock to the financial system. And bouncing back from such shocks is notoriously difficult. True recovery will be broad-based, and, unfortunately, slow.

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2 Responses to “there’s health care and then there’s the rest of the economy….revisited”


  1. 1 Mark Ackley April 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Question: what is the working definition of “social assistance?” I’m not understanding why that would be blended into healthcare services.


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