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April 2002, Vol. 125, No. 4
Services: business demand rivals consumer demand in driving job growthBill Goodman and Reid Steadman
More than 97 percent of the jobs added
to U.S. payrolls in approximately the
last 12 years were provided by the service-producing sector. That sector is divided into six major divisions of industries, including: transportation, communications, and public utilities; wholesale trade; retail trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; services; and government. (See chart 1.) Just one of the six divisions, services—which includes such diverse industries as healthcare, entertainment, temp agencies, and business consulting—gained considerably more than half the jobs added to the U.S. economy and became the largest division by far. As late as 1984, the numbers of jobs in the manufacturing, retail trade, government, and services divisions were reasonably comparable. By 1999, services had about twice the employment of manufacturing or government and about one and three-quarters times the number of jobs in retail trade.1
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1 Data representing employment as used in this article are from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, which surveys nearly 380,000 nonfarm employers monthly. For more information on the CES program’s concepts and methodology, see BLS Handbook of Methods, Bulletin 2490 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, April 1997), chapter 2, pp. 15–31. These data are available on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ces/home.htm.
National Current Employment Statistics
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