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Managers Take A Hit

Posted by: Michael Mandel on March 06

I’m updating the previous table I posted on changes in employment by occupation. The biggest surprise—the number of people in ‘management occupations’ is down over the last year. I haven’t gone back and checked, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the first time that happened. Very scary.

Feb. 2008-Feb. 2009
Occupations Percent
Change Jobs (thousands)
Healthcare support  11.1% 339
Legal 9.4% 154
Personal care and service 7.9% 363
Life, physical, and social science  5.1% 64
Protective service  4.1% 124
Community and social services 3.0% 67
Healthcare practitioner and technical 2.6% 190
Food preparation and serving  1.0% 75
Education, training, and library  0.5% 44
Installation, maintenance, and repair  -0.2% -8
Management occupations -0.3% -42
Business and financial operations -0.4% -22
Transportation and material moving  -3.0% -268
Sales and related  -4.6% -763
Office and administrative support  -4.8% -925
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance -5.4% -284
Architecture and engineering  -7.1% -209
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media -7.3% -206
Computer and mathematical  -9.0% -342
Farming, fishing, and forestry  -11.8% -110
Production  -14.6% -1,341
Construction and extraction -15.5% -1,346

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Reader Comments


March 6, 2009 01:55 PM

I don't think this is the first time we've seen management job losses at all. In fact, it was a major feature of the 1990-93 recession, when words like 'delayering' and 'reengineering' were code for the elimination of middle management positions. Then as now, it was a symptom of the fundamental restructuring of the economy, and then as now there will be some babies thrown out with the bathwater.


March 6, 2009 10:38 PM

For too long people at the upper layers have not felt the pain of recessions. Their turn in the barrel. It's only the beginning. The whole post-WWII pattern is falling apart, and many will not make the leap into the next world order without taking a haircut.


March 13, 2009 03:24 PM

Interesting analysis Mr. Mandel. To see something break down and look at how this spiral effect in management has a very educative advantage on the full understanding how this "crisis" is affecting the United States. Now, as Sam put it, hopefully these old school wall street cats wake up and get with the times.

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.



Michael Mandel, BW's award-winning chief economist, provides his unique perspective on the hot economic issues of the day. From globalization to the future of work to the ups and downs of the financial markets, Mandel-named 2006 economic journalist of the year by the World Leadership Forum-offers cutting edge analysis and commentary.

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