The View From 1776

A Lost Decade for Jobs

Kartik Ariyur alerted me to this Business Week article, which graphically depicts the imbalance in growth of jobs over the past decade between the public and private sectors.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10/26 at 12:23 AM
  1. From the data presented, it appears that the steepest loss in private jobs in recent years took place during the George W. Bush decade.

    Thank you, Tom, for providing us with this cautionary tale of why conservatism may be more dangerous than even Glen Beck.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/26  at  09:19 AM
  2. A new record for 'steepest' job losses is coming. Bush was no 'conservative' whatever that means. What is being done differently than your bogeyman, Bush? Bank Bailouts? Government Motors? Czars? Media intimidation? Takeover of the health care system? 1.7 trillion in deficits? Hopey Change?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/26  at  10:28 AM
  3. I have been looking at the Business Week article and find there is something very fishy going on here. If you look at the historical data (see:, you will see there is no apparent shrinkage of the private sector (as a percent) as the article suggests. If anything, it is the government sector that has shrunk as a percent of total population, not the private and not. I have to wonder where the writer got his data. The only reference he gives to source is the BLS table regarding health sector. The rest could be from anywhere or developed on his own. His charts could not have come from BLS.

    He is using derivatives rather than actuals (e.g. his jobs growth chart is 'change in total jobs by sector', not 'total jobs by sector'), and does not give us any referents to link the data properly by which administration as would support his conclusions. Again using the growth chart, is the growth a change in the average from the 1990s to the 2000s, or is it the change from 1998 to 2008 (single year comparison), which, depending on choice of year can be very misleading as, on average, there is very little % change between these two decades. Population is steadily increasing, so there is bound to be some shift that does not imply the private is shrinking that still allows some growth in government jobs. The actual variances (either as percent of labor force or percent of population) are much smaller than Mandel's graphs imply (avg private sector 83.1%
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/27  at  09:10 PM
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