Private-Sector Job Growth

PRIVATE-SECTOR JOB GROWTH…. In the previous post, we talked about the new monthly jobs report, but following up on the tradition we started a couple of months ago, many of you have emailed to suggest it’s time for a slightly different chart — one showing just the private sector job market.

For much of 2010, this was important because of the sharp differences we’ve seen between the private and public sectors. Most notably, the rise and fall of Census Bureau jobs can offer a skewed picture — some months, such as May 2010, look better than they should, because the monthly total is exaggerated by hundreds of thousands of Census jobs. Other months, such as June 2010, are distorted in the other direction, looking worse than they should.

But that period is largely over, and last month, both sectors were awful — the economy added 50,000 private-sector jobs in November, far below expectations. It was the 11th consecutive month of private-sector growth, but that really shouldn’t make anyone feel better — November’s figure was the worst monthly total since January.

All told, the economy has added 1.17 million private-sector jobs in 2010. For comparison purposes, note that the economy lost nearly 4.7 million private-sector jobs in 2009, and lost 3.8 million in 2008.

With that in mind, here is a different homemade chart, showing monthly job losses/gains in the private sector since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction — red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. (Note: the chart reflects revised totals from August and September, per data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

privatejobs_ nov10.jpg