Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics

    Suburban Manufacturing Furnace Parts. Dec 13, 2000 losses in manufacturing and mining nearly offset .. the most part until the asian crisis, when large amounts of foreign steel found its way into the u.s. market at extremely low prices. blast furnaces and basic steel products (sic 331) was hurt . bers of workers, local and suburban transportation expanded. webarchive.library.unt.edu.

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Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
Monthly Labor Review December 2000 3
Employment in the 1990s
T
he U.S. economy sank into recession early
in the 1990s and then rebounded with the
longest running expansion in the Nation’s
history.
1
Real gross domestic product (GDP)
growth slowed in 1990 as the country slipped into
recession. By 1992, however, recovery began and
GDP grew throughout the remainder of the de-
cade. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by
nearly 21 million workers during the decade.
2
Employment in export-sensitive industries fol-
lowed a cyclical pattern, turning down for the
1990–91 recession and the later Asian economic
crisis. Reduced defense spending resulted in job
losses in defense-related industries, especially
early in the decade. While the number of workers
declined in these goods-producing industries,
construction and related industries began to
slowly recover in 1992, and strong employment
growth resumed by mid-decade. Technology and
demand for more services drove employment up
in the service-producing sector.
Productivity improved as new and cheaper
computer technology was applied in all sectors
of the economy. Businesses transformed their
systems to meet Y2K deadlines and to compete
with lower priced foreign goods resulting from
economic crisis in Asia. Inflation remained largely
in check throughout the decade, with moderate
gains in consumer prices. Even after adjusting
average hourly earnings for inflation, U.S. work-
ers saw their real wages increase. Low interest
rates spurred new construction and refinance
activity. Technology stocks helped create record
profits in the stock market and boost the wealth
of many households. Consumer confidence rose
to new heights and remained strong through the
end of the decade.
The private service-producing industries ac-
counted for nearly 90 percent of the job growth in
the 1990s and increased their share of total non-
farm employment by more than 4 percentage
points. (See chart 1.) All major industry divisions
within the service-producing sector added work-
ers and growth was especially strong in the ser-
vices division. (See chart 2.) Employment in the
goods-producing industries edged up slightly, as
losses in manufacturing and mining nearly offset
gains in construction.
Mining employment sinks lower
The mining industry lost nearly a quarter of its
workforce during the 1990s, with most of the
losses occurring in coal mining and oil and gas
extraction. Of the two, coal mining lost relatively
more workers, 40.6 percent, while oil and gas ex-
traction lost the greatest number of workers,
88,100. (See table 1.)
Employment fell as productivity increased in
coal mining
. Despite having lost jobs more rap-
idly than other mining industries, losses in coal
The long economic expansion fueled job growth
during the period, while new technology had mixed effects;
the employment divide between the goods- and service-
producing sectors of the economy continued to widen
Job growth in the 1990s:
a retrospect
Julie Hatch and
Angela Clinton are
economists in the
Division of Monthly
Industry Employment
Statistics, Bureau of
Labor Statistics.
Julie Hatch
and
Angela Clinton
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
4 Monthly Labor Review December 2000
Employment in the 1990s
Chart 1.
Percent distribution of payroll employment by industry sector, 1950, 1989, 1999
Percent
Percent
1950 1989 1999
0
20
40
60
80
100
0
20
40
60
80
100
Goods-producing industries
Private service-producing industries
Government
Chart 2. Employment changes by major industry division, 1989–99
Millions
Millions
-30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50
-30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 500
Percent
-202468101214
-2024681012140
Percent
Mining
Manufacturing
Government
Wholesale trade
Retail trade
Finance, insurance,
Transportation and
Construction
Services
and real estate
public utilities
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
Monthly Labor Review December 2000 5
Employment change by industry, 1989–99
[Numbers in thousands}
Total nonfarm ..................................................................... 107,884 128,786 20,902 19.4
07,10–87,89,99 Total private ..................................................................... 90,105 108,616 18,511 20.5
10-39 Goods producing........................................................... 25,254 25,482 228 .9
10-14 Mining ..................................................................... 692 535 –157 –22.7
10 Metal mining...................................................... 55.7 45.3 –10.4 –18.7
12 Coal mining ....................................................... 143.7 85.4 –58.3 –40.6
13 Oil and gas extraction ...................................... 381.0 292.9 –88.1 –23.1
14 Nonmetallic minerals, except fuels ................... 111.2 111.8 0.6 .5
15–17 Construction .............................................................. 5,171 6,404 1,233 23.8
15 General building contractors ................................ 1,331.8 1,450.1 118.3 8.9
16 Heavy construction, except building .................... 767.0 869.1 102.1 13.3
17 Special trade contractors ..................................... 3,072.1 4,084.2 1,012.1 32.9
Manufacturing ......................................................... 19,391 18,543 –848 –4.4
24,25, 32–39 Durable goods ...................................................... 11,394 11,103 –291 –2.6
24 Lumber and wood products .............................. 756.2 828.4 72.2 9.5
25 Furniture and fixtures ....................................... 524.3 548.4 24.1 4.6
32 Stone, clay and glass products ........................ 568.4 563.3 –5.1 –.9
33 Primary metals .................................................. 771.8 699.7 –72.1 –9.3
34 Fabricated metals ............................................. 1,445.4 1,517.4 72.0 5.0
35 Industrial machinery and equipment ................. 2,124.9 2,140.5 15.6 .7
36 Electronic and other electrical equipment ......... 1,744.3 1,669.8 –74.5 -4.3
37 Transportation equipment.................................. 2,051.5 1,884.2 –167.3 –8.2
38 Instruments and related products .................... 1,025.9 856.4 –169.5 –16.5
39 Miscellaneous manufacturing ........................... 381.2 394.9 13.7 3.6
20–23,26–31 Nondurable goods ................................................ 7,997 7,440 –557 –7.0
20 Food and kindred products ............................... 1,644.4 1,676.7 32.3 2.0
21 Tobacco products ............................................. 49.9 38.4 –11.5 –23.0
22 Textile mill products .......................................... 719.8 560.2 –159.6 –22.2
23 Apparel and other textile products ................... 1,075.7 692.3 –383.4 –35.6
26 Paper and allied products ................................. 695.7 667.8 –27.9 –4.0
27 Printing and publishing ..................................... 1,555.9 1,552.9 –3.0 –.2
28 Chemicals and allied products .......................... 1,073.9 1,034.0 –39.9 –3.7
29 Petroleum and coal products ............................ 156.0 133.6 –22.4 –14.4
30 Rubber and misc. plastics products ................. 888.0 1,005.7 117.7 13.3
31 Leather and leather products ........................... 137.6 77.9 –59.7 –43.4
40–87,89,99 Service producing ............................................................ 82,630 103,304 20,674 25.0
40–49 Transportation and public utilities.................................. 5,614 6,826 1,212 21.6
40 Railroad transportation ........................................ 292.5 229.7 –62.8 –21.5
41 Local and interurban passenger transit ............... 325.7 484.5 158.8 48.8
42 Trucking and warehousing ................................... 1,379.0 1,804.6 425.6 30.9
44 Water transportation............................................ 171.6 187.1 15.5 9.0
45 Transportation by air............................................ 897.2 1,227.0 329.8 36.8
46 Pipelines, except natural gas .............................. 18.5 13.0 –5.5 –29.7
47 Transportation services ....................................... 319.0 463.4 144.4 45.3
48 Communications .................................................. 1,272.1 1,551.5 279.4 22.0
49 Electric, gas and sanitary services .................... 938.1 864.7 –73.4 –7.8
50–51 Wholesale trade ............................................................ 6,187 6,924 737 11.9
50 Durable goods ..................................................... 3,653 4,120 467 12.8
51 Nondurable goods ............................................... 2,534 2,804 270 10.7
52–59 Retail trade ................................................................... 19,475 22,788 3,313 17.0
52 Building materials ................................................ 783.4 989.2 205.8 26.3
53 General merchandise stores ............................... 2,544.3 2,771.3 227.0 8.9
54 Food stores ......................................................... 3,163.5 3,494.8 331.3 10.5
55 Automotive dealers and service stations ............ 2,092.4 2,368.6 276.2 13.2
56 Apparel and accessory stores ............................ 1,196.7 1,173.7 –23.0 –1.9
57 Furniture and home furnishing stores .................. 826.4 1,081.5 255.1 30.9
58 Eating and drinking places .................................. 6,401.9 7,940.3 1,538.4 24.0
59 Miscellaneous retail establishments .................... 2,466.8 2,969.0 502.2 20.4
Table 1.
Industry
SIC
code
Change
Number
Percent
1989
1999
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
6 Monthly Labor Review December 2000
Employment in the 1990s
60–67 Finance, insurance and real estate .............................. 6,668 7,569 901 13.5
60 Depository institutions ........................................ 2,273.4 2,061.0 –212.4 –9.3
61 Nondepository institutions ................................... 361.2 710.4 349.2 96.7
62 Security and commodity brokers ......................... 430.2 687.8 257.6 59.9
67 Holding and other investment offices .................. 217.7 231.4 13.7 6.3
63 Insurance carriers ............................................... 1,438.4 1,610.5 172.1 12.0
64 Insurance agents, brokers, and services ........... 651.8 760.8 109.0 16.7
65 Real estate .......................................................... 1,296 1,507 211 16.3
07,70–87,89,99 Services ..................................................................... 26,907 39,027 12,120 45.0
07 Agricultural services............................................ 464.9 765.5 300.6 64.7
70 Hotels and other lodging places .......................... 1,595.8 1,847.7 251.9 15.8
72 Personal services ............................................... 1,085.7 1,233.1 147.4 13.6
73 Business services ............................................... 4,940.6 9,266.8 4,326.2 87.6
75 Auto repair, services and parking ....................... 884.1 1,184.1 300.0 33.9
76 Miscellaneous repair services ............................. 374.3 377.0 2.7 .7
78 Motion pictures .................................................... 374.7 609.8 235.1 62.7
79 Amusement and recreation services ................... 1,033.3 1,659.8 626.5 60.6
80 Health services ................................................... 7,462.8 9,989.3 2,526.5 33.9
81 Legal services ..................................................... 880.4 996.7 116.3 13.2
82 Educational services ........................................... 1,647.0 2,275.7 628.7 38.2
83 Social services .................................................... 1,643.6 2,800.1 1,156.5 70.4
84 Museums and botanical and zoological
gardens ............................................................ 62.0 97.9 35.9 57.9
86 Membership organizations ................................... 1,835.7 2,425.4 589.7 32.1
87 Engineering and management services ............... 2,389.2 3,254.1 864.9 36.2
Government .............................................................. 17,779 20,170 2,391 13.4
Federal government ............................................. 2,988 2,669 –319 –10.7
Federal, except Postal Service ....................... 2,155.4 1,796.1 –359.3 –16.7
State government ................................................ 4,182 4,695 513 12.3
State government except education ............... 2,513.8 2,727.1 213.3 8.5
State government education ........................... 1,668.1 1,968.1 300.0 18.0
Local government ................................................ 10,609 12,806 2,197 20.7
Local government except education ............... 4,733.8 5,534.3 800.5 16.9
Local government education ........................... 5,875.4 7,272.0 1,396.6 23.8
Table 1.
Continued—Employment change by industry, 1989–99
SIC
code
Industry
1989 1999
Change
Number
Percent
mining decelerated during the decade, compared with the
prior 10-year period. Most of the losses occurred in bitu-
minous coal and lignite mining—one of the 20 three-digit
industries losing the most jobs over the period.
3
(See table
2.) Demand for low-sulfur coal grew as populations migrated
to the West and Southwest. Because coal must be trans-
ported, typically by rail, output at western coal mining sites
increased with demand. Productivity in surface mining,
which is common in western states, is much greater than that
for other types of coal mining.
4
In addition, demand for western coal increased as electri-
cal utilities purchased relatively more of the lower sulfur coal
found in the West as well as in the central Appalachian re-
gion. At the same time, demand fell in the northern Appala-
chian region and in the Illinois basin, where sulfur content is
higher and productivity is lower.
5
With the second phase of
the Clean Air Act beginning on January 1, 2000, the demand
for lower sulfur coal should continue to increase relative to
that for the more labor-intensive, higher sulfur coal and result
in continuing employment losses in the coal mining industry.
Job losses in oil and gas extraction accelerate
. While em-
ployment losses slowed in coal mining, the rate of decline
accelerated slightly in oil and gas extraction. The industry
responded to changing oil prices and demand by adjusting
production and, consequently, the number of workers. As oil
prices began to fall at the start of the decade, employment
declines followed. The industry cut back significantly in 1992,
and job losses continued until the middle of the decade, when
prices began to escalate.
In 1998, however, domestic oil prices plummeted to less than
11 dollars per barrel, and the response was dramatic. Oil and gas
extraction companies dropped more than 45,000 workers from
payrolls the following year. The industry lost nearly a quarter of
its workforce during the decade, and two-thirds of those losses
occurred in crude petroleum and natural gas extraction.
Construction rebuilds following recession
Construction’s strong connection to changes in the business
cycle led to substantial employment losses during the 1990–
Monthly Labor Review December 2000 7
91 recession. The expansionary period that followed nour-
ished an explosion of job growth in the industry. A healthy
stock market pumped more money into the U.S. economy and,
along with low mortgage rates, fostered wealth effects. Con-
struction expenditures grew at an exceptionally healthy rate,
and housing starts, completions, and permits surged.
6
Em-
ployment in construction grew almost as rapidly as the ser-
vice-producing sector, although labor and supply shortages
were evident late in the decade.
7
Special trade contractors, the largest group of industries in
construction, benefited the most from the favorable economy.
Not only did people have more money to purchase new
homes, they were willing to buy in every area of the country.
In addition, Americans spent more money renovating existing
homes.
8
Electrical work alone added a quarter-million workers
during the decade. This industry accounted for 20 percent of
the job growth in construction. Most industries classified
under special trade contractors grew faster than the national
job market.
In contrast to the special trade contractors industry, gen-
eral building contractors lost more than a quarter of a million
jobs during the recession. The corresponding recovery was a
long, arduous process. Low interest rates and a strong hous-
ing market provided enough stimuli to effect a full recovery,
yet employment in the industry grew by only about half the
rate of the total nonfarm economy during the decade.
The remaining group of construction industries, heavy
construction, except building contractors, experienced large
declines during the 1980–82 recessions, from which it did not
recover during the subsequent economic expansion. After
suffering additional losses during the 1990–91 recession,
however, by 1999, employment in the industry had completely
recovered from losses incurred during the 1990s, and nearly
recovered from those incurred during the 1980s. Throughout
the 1990s expansion, government expenditures on long-term
heavy construction projects helped boost growth.
9
Job losses continue in manufacturing
While construction-related manufacturing added workers
during the 1990s, the prevailing trend was negative through-
out most other manufacturing industries—13 of 20 lost work-
ers.
10
In addition to losses suffered during the U.S. recession,
technological improvements allowed fewer workers to gener-
ate more output than in the past, the Asian economic crisis
reduced demand for goods manufactured in the United States,
and the U.S. Government reduced defense spending.
Technological innovations transformed the manufacturing
industry into a highly efficient machine. Output per hour in-
creased more rapidlyin the 1990s, compared with a decade
earlier.
11
Durable goods industries showed the greatest pro-
ductivity gains, and two industries stand out with particularly
impressive labor productivity improvements—output per
hour for the 10 years ending in 1997 grew at an average annual
rate of 25 percent in computer and office equipment, followed
by electronic components and accessories, with nearly 20
percent per year. Industrial production for all of manufactur-
ing increased by more than a third during the decade, even as
employment and aggregate hours decreased.
12
Business cycles create drag on manufacturing employment.
The manufacturing group of industries was particularly sensi-
tive to changing economic conditions, both at home and
abroad. (See chart 3.) Even before 1990, both employment and
the average factory workweek, a leading economic indicator,
began to edge down. The manufacturing industry soured even
more as the U.S. economy went into recession. Not until 2
years after the official end of the recession did manufacturing
businesses begin to slowly add workers back to their payrolls.
A financial crisis hit Thailand in July 1997 and quickly
spread to neighboring Asian countries. In the United States,
manufacturing industries soon felt the pinch as well. The av-
erage workweek began to edge down at the start of the next
year, and employment peaked in April 1998. The trade deficit
for manufacturing products increased by nearly 200 percent
during the decade.
13
The Asian crisis escalated to such an
extent that the Federal Reserve Board lowered interest rates
to insulate the U.S. economy from the global financial tur-
moil.
14
Special interest groups, including manufacturers, urged
Congress to approve funding for the International Monetary
Fund to stabilize countries in crisis.
15
Although the Asian
crisis and subsequent global economic turmoil abated late in
the decade, U.S. manufacturing firms continued to reduce
payrolls. A positive signal appeared late in 1999, however, as
employment losses appeared to taper off.
The durable goods industries experienced the greatest
losses and were slower to recover from national and global
economic weaknesses. Employment in primary metals (SIC 33),
which fluctuates with trade balances, sharply declined during
the decade. Significant reductions in employment occurred
prior to and shortly after the recession. Payrolls stabilized for
the most part until the Asian crisis, when large amounts of
foreign steel found its way into the U.S. market at extremely
low prices.
Blast furnaces and basic steel products (SIC 331) was hurt
in particular, and production capacity bottomed out as finan-
cial crisis spread across the globe.
16
Claims of illegal dumping
prompted the U.S. Department of Commerce to investigate.
Although the amount of foreign steel imported subsequently
decreased, employment continued to fall until the final quar-
ter of the decade.
The Asian crisis reversed the positive employment trend
in electronic and other electrical equipment (SIC 36). This in-
dustry gained an average of 36,000 jobs annually between the
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
8 Monthly Labor Review December 2000
Employment in the 1990s
[Numbers in thousands]
1989 1999 Level Percent
1 Federal government, except Postal Service ............................ 2,155.4 1,796.1 –359.3 –16.7
2 603 Savings institutions .................................................................. 481.5 251.5 –230.0 –47.8
3 372 Aircraft and parts manufacturing .............................................. 711.0 494.9 –216.1 –30.4
4 562 Women’s clothing stores .......................................................... 422.7 278.4 –144.3 –34.1
5 233 Women’s and misses’ outerwear
manufacturing ....................................................................... 342.4 205.2 –137.2 –40.1
6 381 Search and navigation equipment manufacturing .................... 299.5 166.3 –133.2 –44.5
7 232 Men’s and boys’ furnishings manufacturing .............................. 287.0 157.2 –129.8 –45.2
8 376 Guided missiles, space vehicles, and parts
manufacturing ....................................................................... 194.1 88.1 –106.0 –54.6
9 357 Computer and office equipment manufacturing ........................ 458.7 370.2 –88.5 –19.3
10 491 Electric services ...................................................................... 448.2 360.0 –88.2 –19.7
11 602 Commercial banks .................................................................... 1,555.0 1,475.9 –79.1 –5.1
12 225 Knitting mills manufacturing ..................................................... 214.8 141.0 –73.8 –34.4
13 533 Variety stores ........................................................................... 209.8 138.0 –71.8 –34.2
14 40 Railroad transportation ............................................................. 292.5 229.7 –62.8 –21.5
15 131 Crude petroleum and natural gas extraction ............................ 192.7 133.1 –59.6 –30.9
16 122 Bituminous coal and lignite mining ........................................... 134.2 79.8 –54.4 -40.5
17 517 Petroleum and petroleum products distribution ........................ 206.9 155.2 –51.7 –25.0
18 331 Blast furnaces and basic steel products
manufacturing ....................................................................... 279.1 227.6 –51.5 –18.5
19 314 Footwear, except rubber manufacturing ................................... 77.3 32.9 -44.4 –57.4
20 631 Life insurance ........................................................................... 550.2 506.0 -44.2 –8.0
Employment Change
Industry
Table 2.
The 20 industries losing the most jobs over the 1989–99 period
SIC
code
Rank
end of the recession and the start of the Asian crisis.
17
The
industry lost 37,000 jobs in 1999. Almost half of the output
produced by the electronic and other electrical equipment in-
dustry is sold to foreign countries, making it the most export
dependent of all manufacturing industries.
18
Electronic com-
ponents and accessories firms, along with producers of semi-
conductors and printed circuit boards, lost the most jobs. The
computer and office equipment industry experienced a signifi-
cant workforce reduction as foreign computer products entered
the United States and productivity advances occurred.
19
Textile mill products (SIC 22) and the apparel industries (SIC
23) steadily lost jobs to foreign competition and technological
advances throughout the 1990s. Improved technology reduced
production time and the number of workers required to manu-
facture fabrics in the textile industry.
20
Apparel and other tex-
tile products, influenced less by technological innovations
than by imports, lost a third of its workforce during the de-
cade. This industry was especially harmed in the latter
half of
the decade, when most Asian countries devalued their curren-
cies, making their products much less costly in the United
States.
21
Job losses were widespread, but substantial declines
occurred in women’s and misses’ outerwear.
Defense spending slows
. The end of the Cold War and the
fall of the Soviet Union ushered in an era of significant cuts in
defense spending. The aerospace industry shifted its focus to
serving commercial and foreign markets, which soured late in
the decade. Mergers allowed businesses to scale back costs
by combining research and development laboratories.
22
Air-
craft and parts dropped 216,000 workers. Guided missiles,
space vehicles, and parts lost more than half its workforce
during the decade, and search and navigation equipment fared
only slightly better.
Economic expansion helps build job growth.
Low inter-
est rates and greater personal income marked much of the
1990s and helped boost both construction- and auto-related
employment. Manufacturing firms struggled to keep up with
the demand placed on them by the exuberant housing and
household accessories markets. Shortages for materials like
drywall, brick, and insulation delayed the construction de-
velopment cycle in the latter part of the decade.
23
Lumber and wood products (SIC 24) added 72,000 jobs over
the period, due mostly to strength in millwork, plywood and
structural members (SIC 243), and in wood buildings and mo-
bile homes (SIC 245); the latter was the only three-digit manu-
facturing industry to make the list of the 20 fastest-growing
industries in the decade. (See table 3.) In the same vein, rubber
and miscellaneous plastics products (SIC 30) added 118,000
jobs, mainly due to high demand for plastic plumbing fixtures.
Consumers struggled with furniture shortages once their
houses were built. The scarcity of labor and fabric in the furni-
ture manufacturing industry during the last half of the decade
prolonged delivery times and burdened retailers.
24
Demand
for both building materials and automotive parts stimulated
employment growth in fabricated metal products (SIC 34). The
component industries fabricated structural metal products,
metal forgings and stampings, and miscellaneous fabricated
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
Monthly Labor Review December 2000 9
metal products all benefited from the healthy U.S. economy.
The robustness of the automotive and construction markets
positively influenced industrial machinery employment also.
Workers were added to assembly lines to manufacture car-
buretors, pistons, and valves.
Transportation and public utilities diverge
Transportation and public utilities added 1.2 million jobs dur-
ing the decade. While this industry division was the second-
fastest growing in the service-producing sector, its compo-
nent industries took off in opposite directions. Transportation
accounted for more than 80 percent of the gain in this varied
industry division. Relatively strong employment growth was
apparent in several industries throughout transportation ser-
vices. Trucking and courier services was among the top 20
industries adding jobs during the decade. (See table 4.) Air
transportation services followed closely by adding more than
260,000 workers. Air travel as measured by passenger miles
tripled from 1970 to 1995.
25
The shift from heavier, lower
value manufacturing goods to lighter, higher value products
decreased the demand for water and rail services relative to
air freight and trucking services.
26
As demand increased,
prompt, reliable and cost-efficient service became a neces-
sity and forced trucking and courier services to transform
their infrastructures. These services underwent a technologi-
cal revolution similar to the manufacturing industry, as a way
to keep up with the growing demand for just-in-time deliv-
ery.
27
Technologies like automatic vehicle-location systems,
mobile communication systems, and on-board computers
allow transportation companies and their customers to track
freight inventories in real time.
28
While trucking and air transportation added greater num-
bers of workers, local and suburban transportation expanded
at a much more rapid pace as States and localities raced to get
more passengers out of their cars and into mass transit sys-
tems. In contrast, railroad transportation employment contin-
ued to decline, but at a much slower pace than occurred during
the 1980s.
The communications industry added more than a quarter of
a million jobs during the decade. Cable and other pay televi-
sion services (SIC 484) continued to grow even during the
economic recession and became one of the 20 fastest growing
industries.
29
Employment gains in the telephone communi-
cations industry during the 1990s offset losses that occurred
in the 1980s following the break up of AT &T. The demand for
cellular service doubled in the last 3 years of the 1990s with
more than 76 million subscribers in June of 1999.
30
In addi-
tion, the increased popularity of pagers and the Internet helped
raise employment levels.
Chart 3
Chart 3. Employment indexes for manufacturing, durable goods, and nondurable goods, 1989–99
Index
(1989=1.00)
1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
0.85
0.90
0.95
1.00
1.05
0.85
0.90
0.95
1.00
1.05
Beginning of Asian economic crisis, July 1997
Index
(1989=1.00)
N
OTE
: Shaded area represents the period of economic contraction, July 1990 to March 1991.
Nondurable goods
Manufacturing
Durable goods
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
10 Monthly Labor Review December 2000
Employment in the 1990s
The 20 industries growing the fastest during the 1989–99 period
[Numbers in thousands]
1989 1999 Level Percent
1 808 Home health care services ....................................................... 243.7 635.6 391.9 160.8
2 737 Computer and data processing services .................................. 736.3 1,830.8 1,094.5 148.6
3 736 Personnel supply services ....................................................... 1,454.5 3,600.7 2,146.2 147.6
4 616 Mortgage bankers and brokers ................................................ 149.1 356.8 207.7 139.3
5 628 Security and commodity services ............................................ 71.1 156.7 85.6 120.4
6 781 Motion picture production and services ................................... 133.9 278.3 144.4 107.8
7 411 Local and suburban transportation ........................................... 126.8 245.4 118.6 93.5
8 835 Child day care services ............................................................ 378.4 694.9 316.5 83.6
9 836 Residential care ....................................................................... 422.7 775.4 352.7 83.4
10 874 Management and public relations ............................................. 570.0 1,035.5 465.5 81.7
11 799 Miscellaneous. amusement and recreation services ................ 697.7 1,240.5 542.8 77.8
12 615 Business credit institutions ...................................................... 75.4 132.1 56.7 75.2
13 832 Individual and family services .................................................. 433.7 752.3 318.6 73.5
14 484 Cable and other pay television services .................................. 117.4 200.5 83.1 70.8
15 495 Sanitary services ..................................................................... 105.2 178.9 73.7 70.1
16 573 Radio, television, and computer stores .................................... 272.3 454.5 182.2 66.9
17 473 Freight transportation arrangement .......................................... 113.9 187.2 73.3 64.4
18 422 Public warehousing and storage .............................................. 114.6 185.4 70.8 61.8
19 632 Medical service and health insurance ...................................... 228.1 368.9 140.8 61.7
20 245 Wood buildings and mobile homes manufacturing .................... 64.4 102.9 38.5 59.8
Employment Change
Industry
Rank
SIC
code
Table 3.
While job growth occurred in transportation and communi-
cations, the public utility industries lost 7.8 percent of their
workforce. The loss can be attributed to substantial reductions
in electric services employment. The electric services industry
underwent major upheaval with the introduction of deregula-
tion. Electric companies repositioned themselves as a precau-
tionary measure against the threat of deregulation.
31
Mergers
led to economies of scale. Productivity improved, allowing fewer
workers to produce more energy than in the past.
Wholesale trade mimics manufacturing
Employment in wholesale trade grew the slowest of all ser-
vice-producing industries during the decade. Job growth in
durable goods distribution only slightly outpaced that of non-
durable goods and, when combined, resulted in sluggish em-
ployment growth in wholesale trade compared to the all-in-
dustry average. Like manufacturing, employment contracted
during the year prior to the recession, and then lagged behind
in the recovery. Wholesale trade did not fully recover until
1995.
The durable goods distribution industry, which accounts
for approximately 60 percent of total employment in wholesale
trade, responded dramatically to the changing business cycle.
Losses were severe and recovery slow, but, once underway,
expansion was rapid. In contrast, employment in nondurable
goods distribution was not nearly as volatile and more closely
mirrored overall industry employment trends.
Professional and commercial equipment (SIC 504) ac-
counted for close to 40 percent of employment growth in
durable goods and was affected much more mildly during the
recession. This industry was largely influenced by the com-
puters, peripherals, and software industry. During the first
half of the decade, the average annual rate of job growth in
the computer industry remained flat, but rebounded and man-
aged to grow at an 8-percent average annual rate for the rest
of the decade. The integration of the personal computer into
the daily routine of more and more U.S. households in-
creased consumer demand and, therefore, employment.
32
According to the Bureau of the Census, the percent of house-
holds that owned a computer more than doubled to 36.6 per-
cent between 1989 and 1997.
33
Retail trade sells itself short
Employment changes in the retail trade industry were highly
sensitive to shifting trends in demographics, buying power,
and fashion. More disposable income in the 1990s helped re-
tail sales expand by 70 percent. Strong sales were not reflected
in strong job growth in retail trade, and employment in the
industry grew slower than that of the total private economy.
34
Retail e-commerce sales in the fourth quarter of 1999 were less
than one percent of total retail sales; thus, e-commerce cannot
be blamed for this sluggish growth.
35
A tight labor market plagued the Nation at the end of the
decade and hampered employment growth in most retail in-
dustries. Employers desperate for workers devised new and
innovative methods for hiring and retaining employees. Major
retail chains started to recruit seasonal help earlier. Compa-
nies hosted parties and added extra incentives, such as bigger
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
Monthly Labor Review December 2000 11
The 20 industries gaining the most jobs during the 1989–99 period
[Numbers in thousands]
1989 1999 Level Percent
1 736 Personnel supply services ......................................................... 1,454.5 3,600.7 2,146.2 147.6
2 58 Eating and drinking places ......................................................... 6,401.9 7,940.3 1,538.4 24.0
3 Local government education.................................................... 5,875.4 7,272.0 1,396.6 23.8
4 737 Computer and data processing services ................................. 736.3 1,830.8 1,094.5 148.6
5 Local government, except education ....................................... 4,733.8 5,534.3 800.5 16.9
6 738 Miscellaneous business services ............................................ 1,197.5 1,820.7 623.2 52.0
7 801 Offices and clinics of medical doctors ...................................... 1,267.9 1,876.6 608.7 48.0
8 806 Hospitals.................................................................................... 3,438.5 3,982.4 543.9 15.8
9 799 Miscellaneous amusement and recreation services .............. 697.7 1,240.5 542.8 77.8
10 874 Management and public relations services............................. 570.0 1,035.5 465.5 81.7
11 805 Nursing and personal care facilities ........................................ 1,355.7 1,784.5 428.8 31.6
12 808 Home health care services ....................................................... 243.7 635.6 391.9 160.8
13 836 Residential care services ......................................................... 422.7 775.4 352.7 83.4
14 421 Trucking and courier services, except air ................................ 1,260.6 1,610.5 349.9 27.8
15 832 Individual and family services .................................................. 433.7 752.3 318.6 73.5
16 835 Child day care services ............................................................ 378.4 694.9 316.5 83.6
17 531 Department stores..................................................................... 2,116.3 2,430.8 314.5 14.9
18 State government education .................................................... 1,668.1 1,968.1 300.0 18.0
19 822 Colleges and universities ......................................................... 1,000.6 1,286.3 285.7 28.6
20 541 Grocery stores ........................................................................... 2,814.3 3,084.6 270.3 9.6
Industry
Employment Change
Rank
SIC
code
Table 4.
store discounts and increased wages.
36
Retail stores not only
competed against each other for workers, but against higher
paying industries as well.
Apparel and accessory stores—the only retail industry to
lose workers during the decade—experienced widespread
employment declines. The largest losses were in women’s
clothing stores. Declines in employment were caused by sev-
eral different factors. Over-saturation of stores in the women’s
apparel market discouraged employment growth with chains
going out of business or reducing the number of stores.
37
A
key demographic group, 25-to 44-year-old women, spent less
money on clothes for themselves and price-shopped more
aggressively.
38
While apparel stores were losing workers, employment in
department stores continued to grow. Discount department
stores benefited from the increasing number of price-conscious
shoppers. Customers liked the convenience of one-stop shop-
ping. According to some reports, discount department stores
even became a fashionable place to shop for clothing.
39
Al-
though department stores were one of the 20 industries add-
ing the most jobs in the 1990s, their percentage increase was
below the average growth rate for all industries.
Furniture and home furnishings stores added more than a
quarter of a million jobs in the 1990s. This was due largely
to radio, television and computer stores, which was one of
the fastest growing industries overall. Increased use of per-
sonal computers and other high-tech appliances at home and
in the workplace fueled job growth in radio, television, and
computer stores.
40
Employment in this industry grew by 66.9
percent over the decade.
As households became more prosperous, they spent more
money eating outside the home. Eating and drinking places’
sales, in current dollars, increased by 60 percent during the
decade.
41
Sales growth was reflected in employment, which
grew faster than the all-industry average. Almost 1 out of ev-
ery 2 jobs added in retail trade occurred in eating and drink-
ing places.
Employment in grocery stores grew slower than total retail
but they still added 270,000 jobs. These stores, forced to com-
pete with nontraditional food retailers, underwent major reno-
vations. Many local or regional businesses transformed into
national food store chains through mergers and acquisitions.
Larger retailers, using economies of scale, positioned them-
selves to compete against gas stations with convenience
stores, drugstores selling groceries, and super centers, a
combination discount department store and supermarket.
42
Low interest rates, healthy economy drive finance
Finance, insurance, and real estate posted moderate employ-
ment gains during the 1990s. Economic changes late in the
decade spurred growth in some of these industries. The low-
est interest rates in 3 years generated a frenzy of activity and
strong employment growth for mortgage bankers and brokers.
Stock brokerages also added workers at a rapid pace as the
number of households that owned stocks multiplied and
strength in technology stocks resulted in a soaring market.
Job losses in depository institutions partly offsets gains made
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
12 Monthly Labor Review December 2000
Employment in the 1990s
in these industries. Depository institutions lost 9.3 percent
of their workforce. The vast majority of the contraction was
in savings institutions, which shrank by almost half. In addi-
tion, traditional commercial banks dropped workers from
their payrolls, but at a much slower rate than savings institu-
tions. Depository institutions continued to adopt new tech-
nologies and business practices as they were faced with in-
creased competition from other financial businesses. Banks
increasingly relied on technology such as automated teller
machines (
ATM ) and Internet banking to lower transaction
costs.
43
According to the American Bankers Association, for
example, an AT M transaction costs 75 percent less than one
made through a traditional teller.
44
Finance industries con-
tinued to make their workforces more flexible by contract-
ing for some of their labor, lower skilled workers in particu-
lar.
45
Bank failures and merger activity continued to mark the
industry.
46
With all of these changes, commercial banks pro-
duced more output with fewer employees, and labor produc-
tivity increased close to 30 percent during the decade.
47
Employment in nondepository institutions almost doubled
as mortgage banks, credit-card issuers, and auto-financing
companies grew in popularity as an alternative to traditional
commercial banks. Looser restrictions on the fees compa-
nies can charge customers, a growing real estate market, and
record levels of consumer spending and debt are a few expla-
nations for rapid growth.
48
Particularly noteworthy is the
fourth fastest-growing industry, mortgage bankers and bro-
kers, which increased their labor force by 139.3 percent over
the decade. (See chart 4.) Low mortgage rates and the red-
hot housing market helped push loan originations for pur-
chase and refinancing to a record level, $1.47 trillion, in
1998.
49
The real estate market flourished under the low interest rates
and expanding economy. Households and businesses took ad-
vantage of favorable market conditions to buy and sell real es-
tate. According to the National Association of Realtors, poten-
tial buyers—who used the Internet during the latter part of the
decade to research neighborhoods and view homes on virtual
tours—were more likely to use a real estate agent.
50
As a result,
employment in real estate agents and managers expanded by
189,600 jobs during the decade. Despite this rapid expansion,
real estate operators and lessors experienced anemic job growth,
while subdividers and developers failed to fully recover from
the recession early in the decade.
With low interest rates and the corresponding mortgage
refinance activity, consumers had more money to spend and
continued to stimulate the economic expansion. In addition to
buying commercial goods and services, consumers bought
stocks and bonds. Close to 50 percent of households owned
stocks, and Wall Street earned record profits.
51
Employment
Chart 4
Employment
(in thousands)
Interest rate
(in percent)
Chart 4. Employment in the mortgage bankers and brokers industry versus 30-year fixed
mortgage interest rate, 1982–99
1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
0
100
200
300
400
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
Employment
Interest rate
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
Monthly Labor Review December 2000 13
Private production or nonsupervisory workers and average weekly hours
Production or nonsupervisory workers
(percent of total private)
1989 1999 Change 1989 1999 Change
Total private ..................................... 100.0 100.0 … 34.6 34.5 –.1
Goods-producing ............................. 24.3 20.4 –3.9 40.3 41.0 .7
Mining .......................................... .7 .5 –.2 43.0 43.8 .8
Construction ................................ 5.5 5.6 .1 37.9 39.1 1.2
Manufacturing .............................. 18.1 14.3 –3.8 41.0 41.7 .7
Service-producing ............................ 75.7 79.6 3.9 32.7 32.8 .1
Transportation and public
utilities ....................................... 6.4 6.4 .0 38.3 38.7 .4
Wholesale trade ........................... 6.8 6.2 –.6 38.0 38.3 .3
Retail trade .................................. 23.6 22.5 –1.1 28.9 29.0 .1
Finance, insurance, and
real estate ................................. 6.6 6.2 –.4 35.8 36.2 .4
Services ...................................... 32.2 38.3 6.1 32.6 32.6 .0
Industry
Table 5.
Average weekly hours
in securities and commodity brokerages grew by more than a
quarter of a million jobs by the end of the decade. Security
and commodity services, while accounting for slightly less
than a quarter of total employment in security and commod-
ity brokers, more than doubled its employment.
Services leads job growth
The services industry was the driving force behind job growth
during the 1990s. Rapid technological transformation helped
prolong the longest economic expansion on record and helped
create a substantial number of employment opportunities in
services. Of the 10 specific industries adding the most jobs
during the decade, 7 were in services.
Business services:
The Real McCoy
. Employment in busi-
ness services grew more than any other industry group during
the decade. (See table 1.) Business services accounted for
approximately a third of all job growth in the services division.
Topping the list of most jobs added and third in growth rate,
personnel supply services, which includes both traditional
employment agencies and help supply firms (primarily tempo-
rary help agencies), accounted for half the strength in busi-
ness services. Employment opportunities exploded in the help
supply industry as more firms relied on temporary help as a
way to manage labor more effectively. Businesses adopted the
concept of “just-in-time labor,” similar to just-in-time produc-
tion which is common in the automobile industry. Labor sup-
plied by the help supply industry enabled firms to quickly
adjust their labor forces to stay competitive.
52
Firms expanded demand for temporary workers, especially
for more highly skilled ones. During the 1980s, firms typically
used temporary workers for more repetitive clerical and me-
nial-labor tasks. This practice transformed during the next
decade as companies routinely purchased the services of
highly skilled workers from temporary agencies to meet their
diverse needs in areas such as financial services, health ser-
vices, telecommunications, and information technology.
53
Skilled workers were added to payrolls, and training was of-
fered to expand the skills of all workers in areas such as word
processing and computer-based applications.
54
In addition to
providing a wider range of workers, some help supply estab-
lishments began to take on the functions of traditional em-
ployment agencies, as client firms increasingly used tempo-
rary agencies to try out potential permanent employees. Some
businesses even opted to have temp firms handle all of their
staffing needs and provided on-site offices for a temporary
agency.
55
Computer and data processing services mimicked help sup-
ply in its demand for more highly skilled computer profession-
als. Even though employment growth remained strong during
the decade, recession included, there were signs of slowing
very late in the decade. Colleges and universities could not
produce graduates with computer degrees fast enough, as firms
scrambled to cure the Y2K bug and design chips and software
for computers and other consumer products.
56
Computer and data processing services added more than a
million jobs during the decade. The computer market expanded
during the 1990s as a response to the technological advance-
ments made and the continual reduction of price. Parents be-
gan to purchase computers as educational tools for their chil-
dren. Within computer and data processing services, employ-
ment grew especially in information retrieval services and the
software industry.
57
Computer game software became more
sophisticated with the evolution of the computer chip, and
helped employment in the software industry grow.
58
More
Americans increasingly integrated the Internet into their ev-
eryday routines, and as a result, employment blossomed in
information retrieval services. Computer consulting services,
which dominates the residual category, were greatly in de-
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
14 Monthly Labor Review December 2000
Employment in the 1990s
mand during the decade.
59
Demand for consulting services
expanded as businesses set up local area networks, devel-
oped websites, and rewrote programs for the new millen-
nium.
Although engineering and management services grew at
half the pace of business services, it outpaced the rate of total
nonfarm employment growth by one and a half times. Engi-
neering and management services added 800,000 jobs during
the decade. Much of this strength can be attributed to the
value added to most industry sectors by engineering and man-
agement personnel. The construction industry in particular
benefited greatly from the engineering and architectural in-
dustry. Finance, insurance, and real estate businesses fre-
quently relied upon management and public relation services
to improve productivity.
60
Management and public relations
accounted for more than half of all job growth in management
and engineering services.
Huge gains arise from serving people
. Health services,
while growing less than half as fast as business services dur-
ing the 1990s, still contributed more than 2.5 million jobs to
nonfarm payrolls. The growth rate slowed from that of the
previous decade. The growing popularity of HMOs and the
implementation of the perspective payment plan by Congress
led to decreased health care expenditures.
61
Not all health ser-
vice industries experienced the slower growth phenomena.
Home health care services grew the fastest of all the indus-
tries, and also made the list of the top 20 in terms of number of
jobs gained. Several factors contributed to this above-aver-
age growth. First, medicare expanded benefits to make more
people eligible for home health care coverage, the cost associ-
ated with care at home was relatively less costly compared to
that at hospitals, and technological advancements provided
people the option to receive medical treatment in the comfort
of their own home.
62
Nevertheless, home health care also was
affected by cutbacks in health expenditures, and ended the de-
cade with employment 78,000 lower than its July 1997 peak.
Offices and clinics of medical doctors added jobs at a con-
siderably slower rate than in the 1980s, but still faster than
average for services. Offices and clinics of medical doctors
ranked 7th in the number of jobs added. Hospital employment
also increased by more than a half a million jobs, but the rate of
growth in this huge industry was anemic. This, in part, is due
to the decreased average length of stay and the restructuring
of hospital staffs to reduce costs.
63
Social services grew twice as rapidly as health services
during the 1990s, increasing employment by 70 percent or more
than a million employees. The growth was concentrated in
three industries—residential care services, individual and fam-
ily services, and child day care services. Each of these indus-
tries made the top-20 list for both the number of jobs gained
and the growth rate. Job training, which benefited from the
restructuring of the American workforce, also added jobs at a
rapid pace. People needed skills that did not exist 10 years
ago as a result of the rapidly changing technology.
In a lighter vein, two industries that serve up entertain-
ment—motion picture services and amusement and recre-
ation services experienced strong rates of job growth during
the 1990s. The strong U.S. economy enabled these indus-
tries to prosper throughout the majority of the decade. As
disposable income continued to increase, the public devoted
more time and money to these luxury items.
Government employment growth slows
Taken together, the pace of job growth in Federal, State, and
local governments fell short of that in the private sector. The
Federal government reduced its workforce while State and
Table 6. Average hourly earnings in current and constant dollars, 1989–99
Current dollars Change Constant dollars Change
1989 1999 Level Percent 1989 1999 Level Percent
Total private ................ $ 9.66 $13.24 $3.58 37.1 $7.64 $7.86 0.22 2.9
Goods-producing .............. 11.22 14.84 3.62 32.3 8.87 8.81 –.06 –.7
Mining ........................... 13.26 17.09 3.83 28.9 10.48 10.15 –.33 -3.1
Construction ................. 13.54 17.18 3.64 26.9 10.70 10.20 –.50 –4.7
Manufacturing ............... 10.48 13.91 3.43 32.7 8.28 8.26 –.02 –.2
Service-producing ............. 9.04 12.73 3.69 40.8 7.15 7.56 .41 5.7
Transportation and
public utilities ........... 12.57 15.69 3.12 24.8 9.94 9.32 –.62 –6.2
Wholesale trade ........... 10.39 14.58 4.19 40.3 8.21 8.66 .45 5.5
Retail trade .................. 6.53 9.08 2.55 39.1 5.16 5.39 .23 4.5
Finance, insurance,
and real estate.......... 9.53 14.62 5.09 53.4 7.53 8.68 1.15 15.3
Services ...................... 9.38 13.36 3.98 42.4 7.42 7.93 .51 6.9
Industry
Table 6.
Monthly Labor Review December 2000 15
local governments added workers. The Federal government
lost more workers than any other industry except the apparel
and other textile products industry. The U.S. Postal Service,
part of the Federal government employment counts, added
less than a quarter of the number of jobs added during the
previous decade. Changes in the rest of the Federal govern-
ment were even more dramatic: Employment peaked in 1992
and then began a descent that did not abate until the Census
Bureau began hiring temporary workers late in the decade.
64
(See chart 5.) Excluding the Postal Service and temporary
Census workers, Federal employment fell to levels not ob-
served since 1965. The U.S. Department of Defense suffered
the greatest losses —333,000 civilian workers.
While job losses occurred in the Federal government, State
and local governments added employees. The increase in
State workers, however, fell short of the number added dur-
ing the 1980s. In contrast, local government added more than
twice as many workers compared to the previous decade, with
the noneducation agencies adding about 4 times as many
workers in the 1990s as in the 1980s.
As the following tabulation shows, both employment in
local public education and public enrollment for grade K
through 12 increased substantially during the 1990s.
65
1989 1999
Employment (in thousands) ................... 5,875 7,272
Enrollment (in thousands) ........................ 40,543 47,244
Student-employee ratio ............................ 6.9 : 1 6.5 : 1
Employment grew faster, however, and the student-to-em-
ployee ratio fell. Although the number of all education em-
ployees grew more rapidly, teacher shortages were reported
during much of the decade and suppressed potential employ-
ment growth.
66
Hours and earnings
Production workers in the goods-producing sector and
nonsupervisory workers in the private service-producing
sector earned more per week at the end of the decade, even
after adjusting for price increases. Although these workers
toiled fewer hours per week on average, their average hourly
rate of pay increased 2.9 percent after deflation by the Con
--
--
-
sumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical
Workers.
Services industry pulls down average weekly hours.
The
average workweek for production or nonsupervisory work-
ers edged down 0.1 hour over the decade, a continued slowing
in a long-term declining trend.
67
But there is more to the story
than the small change indicates. Average weekly hours fluctu-
ated by as much as two-tenths of an hour from one year to the
next as industries adjusted their workforces to meet changes in
demand and changes in production processes. (See chart 6.)
In 1989 and 1990, a shrinking of the average workweek
in manufacturing signaled the coming recession. Hours in
retail trade ticked down in 1990 as well, and by 1991, pro-
duction workers in 7 of the 9 major industry divisions cut
back on their average weekly hours. As the U.S. economy
began to recover, hours rose. Especially large gains occurred
in 1994 throughout most of the industry divisions, but were
offset the following year. (See table 5.)
All major industry divisions showed at least a small in-
crease in their average workweek during the 10-years ending
in 1999 with the exception of services, which saw no change
over the decade. Despite these increases, average weekly
hours edged down for the typical, private-sector production
or nonsupervisory worker. The answer to this enigma lies in
the changing industry composition of employment and the
difference in the average workweeks among industries.
In 1989, the goods-producing sector employed nearly a
quarter of all production workers, and their average workweek
stood at 40.3 hours. Ten years later, this sector’s average
weekly hours had risen but their share of production workers
fell, particularly in the manufacturing industry. In fact, among
all industry divisions, only the services industry experienced
a significant increase in production or nonsupervisory work-
ers as a percent of those in all nonfarm, private industries.
Because services’ average weekly hours were lower than those
for all other industries, except retail trade, and because it was
the only industry to gain a greater share of all production or
nonsupervisory workers, services managed to lower the
topside average slightly, even though its average workweek
remained unchanged.
Earnings increases outpace inflation.
While the average
workweek decreased during the decade, the same cannot be
said for earnings. average hourly earnings for production or
nonsupervisory workers grew by 37.1 percent. (See table 6.)
Earnings for the goods-producing sector and the transporta-
tion and public utilities industry division grew at slower rates
than the rest of the industry divisions, while the finance, in-
surance, and real estate industry division had the fastest earn-
ings growth.
Hourly earnings in finance industries expanded by more
than 50 percent during the decade. Although more contract-
ing of lower-skilled workers and rapidly improving technol-
ogy helped boost the average hourly wage rate, the strong
U.S. economy ignited earnings growth in several finance in-
dustries where workers rely heavily on commissions. Histori-
cally low interest rates spurred buying and refinance activity,
especially for mortgage bankers and brokers. Positive wealth
effects resulting from the healthy markets helped consumers
decide to funnel more of their funds into the markets and
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
16 Monthly Labor Review December 2000
Employment in the 1990s
Chart 5 & 6
Chart 5. Employment in Federal Government, except Postal Service, seasonally adjusted, 1965–2000
Thousands
Thousands
1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000
1,700
1,800
1,900
2,000
2,100
2,200
2,300
2,400
2,500
2,600
1,700
1,800
1,900
2,000
2,100
2,200
2,300
2,400
2,500
2,600
Chart 6. Average weekly hours of private sector production or nonsupervisory workers, 1989–99
Hours
Hours
1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
34.0
34.2
34.4
34.6
34.8
35.0
34.0
34.2
34.4
34.6
34.8
35.0
N
OTE
: Data are annual averages of monthly estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (
CES
) program.
Job Growth In The 1990's A Retrospect - Bureau Of Labor Statistics
Monthly Labor Review December 2000 17
1
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc., US Business Cycle Expan-
sions and Contractions, on the Internet at:
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.nber.nber
.nber.nber
.nber
.org/cycles.html.org/cycles.html
.org/cycles.html.org/cycles.html
.org/cycles.html
(visited November 2000).
2
Data on employment, hours and earnings 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 con-
cepts 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://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.bls.gov/ceshome.htm..bls.gov/ceshome.htm.
.bls.gov/ceshome.htm..bls.gov/ceshome.htm.
.bls.gov/ceshome.htm.
3
Table 1 represents employment change from 1989 to 1999 for each indus-
try group by two-digit SIC code. If most of the employment movement in an
industry can be explained by changes in one of its component industries, then
those three-digit industries may be discussed also. Tables 2, 3, and 4 display
employment change at this more detailed level. Table 2 contains the 20 indus-
tries losing the most jobs, table 3 shows the 20 most rapidly growing indus-
tries, and table 4 reveals the 20 industries gaining the most.
4
David McDermott, “Coal mining in the U.S. West: price and employment
trends,”
Monthly Labor Review
, August 1997, pp. 18–23.
5
U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration,
The Ef-
fects of Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 on Electric Utilities:
An Update
, on the Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.eia.doe.gov.eia.doe.gov
.eia.doe.gov.eia.doe.gov
.eia.doe.gov (visited March 7, 2000).
6
The Bureau of the Census produces estimates of construction expendi-
tures, building permits, and housing starts and completions. For more infor-
mation on these and other construction statistics, visit the Bureau of the
Census website, on the Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.census.gov/pub/const/www/..census.gov/pub/const/www/.
.census.gov/pub/const/www/..census.gov/pub/const/www/.
.census.gov/pub/const/www/.
7
Federal Reserve Board of Governors, “Summary of Commentary on Cur-
rent Economic Conditions,” The Beige Book: 1999, on the Internet at
http://http://
http://http://
http://
wwwwww
wwwwww
www
.federalr.federalr
.federalr.federalr
.federalr
eserve.gov/FOMC/BeigeBook/1999/1999081eserve.gov/FOMC/BeigeBook/1999/1999081
eserve.gov/FOMC/BeigeBook/1999/1999081eserve.gov/FOMC/BeigeBook/1999/1999081
eserve.gov/FOMC/BeigeBook/1999/1999081
1/default.htm.1/default.htm.
1/default.htm.1/default.htm.
1/default.htm.
8
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, on the Internet
at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.bls.gov/csxhome.htm..bls.gov/csxhome.htm.
.bls.gov/csxhome.htm..bls.gov/csxhome.htm.
.bls.gov/csxhome.htm.
9
Bureau of the Census, on the Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.census.gov/pub/.census.gov/pub/
.census.gov/pub/.census.gov/pub/
.census.gov/pub/
const/www/.const/www/.
const/www/.const/www/.
const/www/.
10
All of manufacturing activity falls into 1 of 20 manufacturing industries
defined at the two-digit level of aggregation in the Standard Industrial Classi-
fication (SIC) system.
11
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, industry produc-
tivity statistics, on the Internet at
http://stats.bls.govhttp://stats.bls.gov
http://stats.bls.govhttp://stats.bls.gov
http://stats.bls.gov/
iprhome.htmiprhome.htm
iprhome.htmiprhome.htm
iprhome.htm.
12
Federal Reserve Board, “Table 2A: Industrial production: Industry
groups, not seasonally adjusted,” Federal Reserve Statistical Release, Janu-
ary 1986 to present, on the Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.bog.frb.fed.us/r.bog.frb.fed.us/r
.bog.frb.fed.us/r.bog.frb.fed.us/r
.bog.frb.fed.us/r
eleases/G17/eleases/G17/
eleases/G17/eleases/G17/
eleases/G17/
ipdisk/ip.nsaipdisk/ip.nsa
ipdisk/ip.nsaipdisk/ip.nsa
ipdisk/ip.nsa (visited June 9, 2000).
13
U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, table
2: U.S. trade in goods, 1972–1999, on the Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.ita.doc.gov/td/.ita.doc.gov/td/
.ita.doc.gov/td/.ita.doc.gov/td/
.ita.doc.gov/td/
industry/otea/usfth/aggregate/H99t03.txtindustry/otea/usfth/aggregate/H99t03.txt
industry/otea/usfth/aggregate/H99t03.txtindustry/otea/usfth/aggregate/H99t03.txt
industry/otea/usfth/aggregate/H99t03.txt (visited June 9, 2000).
14
“Greenspan remarks make global scope of economic crisis offi-
cial; Government no longer denies impact on U.S. of Asian downturn,”
The Baltimore Sun
, Sept. 6, 1998, p. 11A.
15
National Association of Manufacturers, “NAM Board of Direc-
tors urging Congress to fund the IMF,” NAM Issue Information, on the
Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.nam.org/Sear.nam.org/Sear
.nam.org/Sear.nam.org/Sear
.nam.org/Sear
ch/DetailIssue.asp?ID=230&ch/DetailIssue.asp?ID=230&
ch/DetailIssue.asp?ID=230&ch/DetailIssue.asp?ID=230&
ch/DetailIssue.asp?ID=230&
TT
TT
T
ype=NamType=NamT
ype=NamType=NamT
ype=NamT
rakrak
rakrak
rak (visited June 7, 2000).
16
For more information, see the American Iron and Steel Institute
website, on the Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.steel.org/..steel.org/.
.steel.org/..steel.org/.
.steel.org/.
17
This figure is computed using annual average data for 1993–98.
Data are computed from 1993 through 1998 annual averages because
that period captures the positive growth trend in electronic and other
electrical equipment.
18
William C. Goodman and Timothy D. Consedine, “Job growth
slows during crisis overseas,”
Monthly Labor Review
, February 1999, pp.
3–23; see pp. 4–5 and p. 8, table 3.
19
U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administra-
tion, Office of Computers and Business Equipment, on the Internet at
http://exportit.ita.doc.gov/http://exportit.ita.doc.gov/
http://exportit.ita.doc.gov/http://exportit.ita.doc.gov/
http://exportit.ita.doc.gov/.
20
Lauren A. Murray, “Unraveling employment trends in textiles
and apparel,”
Monthly Labor Review
, August 1995, pp. 62–72.
21
See Goodman and Consedine, “Job growth slows,” p. 5.
22
Ron Hetrick, “Employment in high-tech defense industries in a
post cold war era,”
Monthly Labor Review
, August 1996, pp. 57–63.
23
Federal Reserve Board of Governors, “Summary of Commentary
on Current Economic Conditions,”
The Beige Book: 1999
, on the
Internet at
http://www http://www
http://www http://www
http://www
.federalr.federalr
.federalr.federalr
.federalr
eserve.gov/eserve.gov/
eserve.gov/eserve.gov/
eserve.gov/
FOMCFOMC
FOMCFOMC
FOMC
/BeigeBook/1999//BeigeBook/1999/
/BeigeBook/1999//BeigeBook/1999/
/BeigeBook/1999/
19990811999081
19990811999081
1999081
1/default.htm.1/default.htm.
1/default.htm.1/default.htm.
1/default.htm.
24
Mary Ellen Lloyd, “Furniture makers struggling to meet demand,”
The Wall Street Journal
, Apr. 28, 1998.
25
Transportation in the United States: A Review
(U.S. Department
of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Washington,
DC, 1997).
26
The Role of the National Highway System Connectors: Industry
Context and Issues
(Prepared for U.S. Department of Transportation,
Federal Highway Administration, Prepared by A. Strauss-Wieder, Inc.,
February 1999).
27
Cynthia Engel, “Competition drives the trucking industry,”
Monthly Labor Review
, April 1998, pp. 34–41.
28
Commercial Vehicle Fleet Management and Information Sys-
tems
, Technical Memorandum 3,
ITS Fleet Management and Tech-
insurance plans, which, in turn, helped boost earnings of
security and commodity brokers and insurance carriers.
All of the service-producing industry divisions except
transportation and public utilities had lower average hourly
earnings than all of the goods-producing industry division,
at the beginning of the decade. Because of the differential
rates of earnings growth, By the end of the decade the aver-
age hourly earnings of nonsupervisory workers both in
wholesale trade and in finance, insurance, and real estate
surpassed that of manufacturing production workers. only
workers in retail trade and services earned, on average, less
than manufacturing production workers in 1999.
Notes
After adjusting for price changes, the average produc-
tion or nonsupervisory workers in the private economy still
enjoyed an increase in hourly earnings. However, there are
sharp contrasts among industry divisions. Workers in all the
service-producing industry divisions, with the exception of
those in the transportation and public utilities industry, re-
ceived inflation-adjusted or real increases in hourly earn-
ings. however, real average hourly earnings in all the goods-
producing industry divisions, and in transportation and pub-
lic utilities lost ground by decade end. transportation and
public utilities took the biggest hit, while manufacturing’s
real average hourly earnings were down only slightly.
18 Monthly Labor Review December 2000
Employment in the 1990s
nology Guide
(U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal High-
way Administration, May 1997).
29
For more information, see Dominic Toto, “Job growth in televi-
sion: cable versus broadcast, 1958–99,”
Monthly Labor Review
, August
2000, pp
. .
. .
. 3–14.
30
Trends in Telephone Service
(Industry Analysis Division, Com-
mon Carrier Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, March
2000).
31
David McDermott, “Employment and other trends in the electric
services industry,”
Monthly Labor Review,
September 1999, pp. 3–8.
32
Laura Freeman, “Job creation and the emerging home computer
market,”
Monthly Labor Review
, August 1996, pp. 46–56.
33
Eric Newburger, “Computer use in the United States,”
Current
Population Reports
, Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Com-
merce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S. Census Bureau,
September 1999, on the Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.census.gov/pr.census.gov/pr
.census.gov/pr.census.gov/pr
.census.gov/pr
od/od/
od/od/
od/
99pubs/p20-522.pdf99pubs/p20-522.pdf
99pubs/p20-522.pdf99pubs/p20-522.pdf
99pubs/p20-522.pdf (visited March 28, 2000).
34
Bureau of the Census, annual retail sales figures, Department of
Commerce, “Table 2: Estimated total annual retail sales: 1986 through
1999,” on the Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.census.gov/svsd/r.census.gov/svsd/r
.census.gov/svsd/r.census.gov/svsd/r
.census.gov/svsd/r
etlann/view/etlann/view/
etlann/view/etlann/view/
etlann/view/
artssal.txtartssal.txt
artssal.txtartssal.txt
artssal.txt (visited December 13, 2000.)
35
Bureau of the Census,
Retail e-commerce sales in third quarter
2000
, Department of Commerce, “Estimate quarterly U.S. retail sales:
total and e-commerce,” on the Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.census.gov/.census.gov/
.census.gov/.census.gov/
.census.gov/
mrts/www/current.htmlmrts/www/current.html
mrts/www/current.htmlmrts/www/current.html
mrts/www/current.html (visited June 5, 2000).
36
Evan Ramstad and J.C. Conklin, “Retailers offer parties and perks
to lure scare holiday help
,” The Wall Street Journal
, Nov. 29, 1999, pp.
B2–3.
37
Louise Lee, “More closings in store for retailers in ’96,”
The Wall
Street Journal
, Dec. 27, 1995.
38
Teri Agins, “Cheapskate Chic,”
The Wall Street Journal
, June 11,
1999, W1.
39
Ibid.
40
Laura Freeman, “Job creation,” pp. 46–56.
41
Bureau of the Census, annual retail sales, on the Internet at
http:/http:/
http:/http:/
http:/
/www/www
/www/www
/www
.census.gov/svsd/r.census.gov/svsd/r
.census.gov/svsd/r.census.gov/svsd/r
.census.gov/svsd/r
etlann/view/aretlann/view/ar
etlann/view/aretlann/view/ar
etlann/view/ar
tssal.txttssal.txt
tssal.txttssal.txt
tssal.txt (visited June 1,
2000.)
42
Christopher Boyd, “Shopping for new ideas supermarkets are rein-
vented for convenience,”
Sun–Sentinel
, July 10, 1999, p. C9.
43
Teresa L. Morisi, “Commercial banking transformed by computer
technology,”
Monthly Labor Review
, August 1996, pp. 30–36.
44
Jonathon D. Glater and Frank Swoboda, “Taking a bite out of bank
jobs; the quest for convenience and lower costs, AT Ms eat into services
provided by tellers,”
The Washington Post
, July 10, 1995, p. 1F.
45
Angela Clinton, “Flexible labor: restructuring the American work
force,”
Monthly Labor Review
, August 1997, pp. 3–17.
46
Teresa L. Morisi, “Commercial banking,” pp. 30–36.
47
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Productivity, “Indexes of
output per employee, all published three-digit industries,” on the Internet
at
ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/opt/dipts/oae3din.txtftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/opt/dipts/oae3din.txt
ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/opt/dipts/oae3din.txtftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/opt/dipts/oae3din.txt
ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/opt/dipts/oae3din.txt (vis-
ited March 24,1999).
48
Jonathan Weil, “Financial-sector jobs rise, but little thanks to
banks,”
The Wall Street Journal
, Sept. 8, 1999, p. T1.
49
Virginia Churn, “Good times rolling on, official says mortgage
banking leader expects 1999 to be ‘the second best year,’”
Richmond
Times–Dispatch
, Feb. 7, 1999, p. K1.
50
Daniela Deane, “Web used by 37% of house hunters,”
The Wash-
ington Post
, May 10, 2000, p. E01.
51
Ianthe Jeanne Dugan, “Surge in margin loans has some econo-
mists worried,”
The Washington Post
, Mar. 29, 2000, p. 1A. Many
companies such as Merrill Lynch earned record profits during the
1990s; for more information, see the Merrill Lynch website, on the
Internet at
http://wwwhttp://www
http://wwwhttp://www
http://www
.ml.com.ml.com
.ml.com.ml.com
.ml.com (visited June 22, 2000).
52
For a more complete discussion, see U.S. Department of Labor,
Report on the American Workforce
, 1999, ch. 1, pp. 5–36.
53
Rick Melchionno, “The changing temporary work force: Mana-
gerial, professional, and technical workers in the personnel supply ser-
vices industry,”
Occupational Outlook Quarterly
, Spring 1999, pp. 24–
32.
54
U.S. Department of Labor,
Report on the American Workforce
,
1999, pp. 18–24.
55
Linda Davidson, “Maximize the return on temp staff invest-
ments,”
Workforce
, November 1999, pp. 58–60.
56
Sholnn Freeman,” Colleges reel as computer courses swell,”
The
Wall Street Journal
, July 1, 1998.
57
Laura Freeman, “Job creation,” pp. 46–56.
58
Olivia Crosby, “Working so others can play: Jobs in video game
development,”
Occupational Outlook Quarterly
, Summer 2000, pp.
2–13.
59
Plunkert, Lois, “Rapidly growing, high paying service sector in-
dustries: the U.S. experience,”
Entrepreneurship Proceedings of a Joint
United States and European Seminar
, February 2000, pp. 48–67.
60
Angela Clinton, “Flexible labor: restructuring the American work
force,”
Monthly Labor Review,
August 1997, pp. 3–27.
61
Cynthia Engel, “Health services industry: still a job machine?”
Monthly Labor Review,
March 1999, pp. 3–14.
62
Laura Freeman, “Home-sweet-home health care,”
Monthly Labor
Review,
March 1995, pp. 3–11.
63
Bureau of the Census,
Statistical Abstract of the Unites States 1999
(119
th
Edition) Washington, DC, 1999.
64
Laura A. Kelter, “Counting the counters: effects of Census 2000
on employment,”
Monthly Labor Review
, February 2000, pp. 24–29.
65
Enrollment figures are from the U.S. Department of Education,
National Center for Education Statistics, on the Internet at
http://http://
http://http://
http://
nces.ed.gov/nces.ed.gov/
nces.ed.gov/nces.ed.gov/
nces.ed.gov/. Enrollment figures for 1999 are projections.
66
See for example, Shu Shin Luh, “Schools to recruit overseas short-
ages prompt deal with INS,”
Chicago Sun–Times
, Dec. 19, 1999; and
Jess McCuan, “Your career matters: You think your recruiting job is
tough?”
The Wall Street Journal
, July 20, 1999.
67
For a more complete discussion of the long-term decline in aver-
age weekly hours see, Katie Kirkland,” On the decline in average weekly
hours worked,”
Monthly Labor Review
, July 2000, pp. 26–31.