Personal consumption expenditure-related employment during the recession and projections to 2022

October 15, 2014

More U.S. jobs directly or indirectly relate to consumer spending than to all other sectors of the economy combined. In 2007, which was the business cycle peak prior to the latest economic downturn, 85.1 million nonagricultural wage and salary jobs related to consumer spending; these jobs were 61.5 percent of total nonagricultural wage and salary employment in the United States. But unlike GDP, the percentage of U.S. jobs tied to consumption has fluctuated within a relatively stable range since the late 1970s because of labor-saving technologies and increased consumption of imports.

Between 1993 and 2007, consumer-related employment fluctuated between 60 and 62 percent of total employment—at the lower end of the historic range dating to the late 1970s—when the percentage of investment-related employment increased to fuel economic expansion. But in 2009, the worst year of the recession, personal consumption expenditure (PCE)-related employment increased to 63 percent of U.S. employment and then rose again in 2011 and 2012.

Employment related to personal consumption expenditures as a percentage of U.S. nonfarm employment, 1993–2012 and 2022 projected
Year Percent of jobs

1993

62.3

1994

61.8

1995

61.6

1996

61.3

1997

60.4

1998

60.4

1999

60.3

2000

60.3

2001

61.0

2002

61.5

2003

61.8

2004

61.6

2005

61.4

2006

61.1

2007

61.5

2008

61.9

2009

63.0

2010

62.8

2011

63.4

2012

63.6

2022 projected

63.2

Consumer-related employment is projected to increase 1.0 percent annually between 2012 and 2022 to reach 94.7 million jobs, slightly slower than both past growth rates and the projected 1.1 percent annual growth rate for all employment. But as consumer expenditures on traditionally labor-intensive services like health care continue to grow, 63.2 percent of jobs in the U.S. economy are expected to relate to consumption in 2022; this percentage is within the stable historic range.

Despite the postrecession decline in consumer-related employment and the historic decline in spending, consumer-related employment demonstrated relative stability both during and after the recession, upheld by gains in two sectors: health care and social assistance, and educational services.

The percentage of PCE-related jobs in the health care and social assistance industry increased relative to other sectors during the 2007–2009 recession, rising from 17.4 percent in 2007 to 19.3 percent in 2010, as other sectors were affected by the recession and baby boomers continued to age. Health care and social assistance jobs alone are anticipated to account for more than half of the total PCE-related employment gains between 2012 and 2022. This sector is projected to account for 22.6 percent of total consumer-supported jobs by 2022, a notable rise from the 14.7 percent that the sector claimed back in 1993.

Percent distribution of personal consumption expenditure-related employment by major industry sector, 1993–2012 and 2022 projected
Year Manufacturing Utilities Wholesale trade Retail trade Transportation and warehousing Information Financial activities Professional and business services Educational services Health care and social assistance Leisure and hospitality Other services Federal government State and local government

1993

11.7 0.8 4.4 16.9 3.3 2.8 8.2 10.4 2.3 14.7 13.4 6.9 1.1 2.1

1994

11.3 0.8 4.3 17.1 3.3 2.8 8.2 10.6 2.4 14.9 13.5 6.7 1.1 2.2

1995

11.0 0.7 4.3 17.1 3.3 2.8 7.9 10.9 2.5 15.0 13.6 6.7 1.0 2.1

1996

10.6 0.7 4.3 17.1 3.3 2.8 7.9 11.1 2.5 15.3 13.7 6.7 1.0 2.1

1997

10.3 0.6 4.2 16.8 3.2 2.9 8.0 11.3 2.6 15.5 13.7 6.9 1.0 2.1

1998

10.1 0.6 4.2 16.7 3.3 2.9 8.1 11.6 2.6 15.4 13.5 6.9 1.0 2.0

1999

9.7 0.6 4.2 16.8 3.4 3.0 8.1 11.8 2.7 15.4 13.6 6.9 0.9 2.0

2000

9.5 0.6 4.1 16.9 3.4 3.1 8.0 12.0 2.7 15.4 13.6 6.8 0.9 2.0

2001

9.4 0.6 4.1 16.7 3.4 3.1 8.1 11.7 2.8 15.7 13.7 6.8 0.9 2.1

2002

8.8 0.6 4.1 16.5 3.3 2.9 8.3 11.5 3.0 16.2 13.7 7.1 0.9 2.1

2003

8.5 0.6 4.1 16.4 3.3 2.8 8.4 11.4 3.1 16.7 13.8 7.1 0.8 2.1

2004

8.1 0.6 4.0 16.4 3.2 2.7 8.3 11.5 3.2 17.0 14.1 7.1 0.8 2.2

2005

7.9 0.5 4.0 16.4 3.3 2.6 8.2 11.7 3.2 17.1 14.3 7.0 0.8 2.1

2006

7.5 0.5 4.0 16.4 3.3 2.6 8.3 11.9 3.3 17.1 14.4 6.8 0.8 2.1

2007

7.2 0.5 4.0 16.6 3.3 2.5 8.2 11.8 3.3 17.4 14.5 6.8 0.8 2.1

2008

6.9 0.5 3.9 16.7 3.2 2.5 8.2 11.5 3.5 17.8 14.6 6.9 0.8 2.1

2009

6.5 0.5 4.0 16.5 3.2 2.4 8.0 10.8 3.6 18.8 14.5 6.9 0.8 2.3

2010

6.1 0.5 3.7 16.5 3.1 2.4 8.0 11.2 3.8 19.3 14.7 6.9 0.7 2.2

2011

6.1 0.5 3.8 16.6 3.2 2.3 7.8 11.6 3.8 19.1 14.8 6.8 0.7 2.2

2012

6.0 0.5 3.7 16.5 3.2 2.2 7.6 11.9 3.9 19.1 15.0 6.8 0.6 2.1

2022 projected

4.8 0.4 3.3 15.7 2.9 1.9 7.2 12.3 4.2 22.6 14.7 6.7 0.4 2.0

Other highlights of projected PCE-related employment in service sectors include continued long-run employment declines in information services and federal government (mostly Postal Service) jobs tied to PCE and declines in utilities and wholesale trade jobs. Two industries that are projected to add PCE-related jobs are still not expected to completely recover from the latest recession by 2022: transportation and warehousing, and financial activities.

These data are from the Employment Projections program. To learn more, see "Consumer spending and U.S. employment from the 2007–2009 recession through 2022," Monthly Labor Review, October 2014. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) measure the purchase of goods and services by households and nonprofit institutions serving households. PCE also includes other expenditures, such as employer contributions for health insurance and workers' compensation, imputed rent of owner-occupied housing, indirect financial services, in-kind social benefits, and expenses for pensions and life insurance.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Personal consumption expenditure-related employment during the recession and projections to 2022 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20141015.htm (visited June 25, 2017).

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