Businessweek Archives

Growing Occupations, Shrinking Occupations

As the job market decays, I’ve been pointing out that some industries have continued to do well. Now let’s take a slightly different cut—looking at occupations rather than industries.

Look at the table below, which reports on the year over year change for 22 large occupational classes. Obviously the healthcare-related occupations have done well, and so have the education-related occupations. (gains in personal care and service occupations are unanticipated, but may include some healthcare industry jobs).

It should be no surprise, too, that production occupations—mostly manufacturing—and construction occupations are plunging. So are architectural and engineering occupations, and sales.

But it’s interesting to see that management occupations are still up, while business and financial operations are close to flat, despite the problems in the financial sector.

Distressingly, there seems to be a lot of downside in certain professional occupations. Employment in computer and mathematical occupations is down, as is the number of biological, physical, and social scientists. And alas, employment in the classification “arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations” is down by 5.4% over the past year.

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