Some service industries grow faster in recessions
November 30, 2001
Most of the service division's 16 major industry groups decelerate in job growth or lose jobs during recessions. Five major groups are at least slightly countercyclical, however, gaining jobs faster in recessions than in normal times.
The percentage point difference between growth rates in recessions and expansions among the countercyclical group ranges from a high of 0.5 in private education to 0.1 in amusement and recreation. The major industry group with the greatest employment in the division, health services at 0.3 percentage point, is among this group.
Demand for health care is relatively unaffected by recessions, because to the consumer, healthcare can be a necessity rather than an optional commodity whose purchase can be postponed. Furthermore, Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance provide funding dedicated solely to healthcare, so that much of the funding is not subject to competition with other types of purchases, and benefits remain available to persons during periods of unemployment.
The industry employment data referred to here are products of the Current Employment Statistics program. For more information, see William C. Goodman, "Employment in services industries affected by recessions and expansions," Monthly Labor Review, October 2001. (The National Bureau of Economic Research on November 26 designated March 2001 as the starting point of a recession.)
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Some service industries grow faster in recessions on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/nov/wk4/art05.htm (visited December 05, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.
A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
Spending on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.
Self-employment in the United States
Trends in self-employment by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including both the unincorporated and the incorporated self-employed, as well as data on paid employees who work for the self-employed.